CNN’S Jake Tapper and Kyung Lah report on a secret network being organized in California by faith leaders to help illegal aliens escape the newly watchful eyes of president trump’s immigration officers. The “underground railroad” was actually a secret network of civil rights’ activists and anti-slavery individuals who risked property and life to help slaves, in the lead-up to the Civil War, escape to freedom.
“It’s hard as a Jew not to think about both all the people who did open their doors and their homes and take risks to safeguard Jews in moments where they were really vulnerable,” said one man who spoke anonymously about his home being used as a safe house. “As well as those that didn’t. We’d like to be the people who did.”
Under a policy put in place by the Obama administration, federal agents will not enter a religious institution without approval, but these faith leaders believe that policy will be rescinded under President Trump. Their response is to
prepare with safe houses for illegal aliens, which would fall under 4th Amendment protection, and require officials to obtain a warrant before entering.
Pastor Ada Valiente is showing off in Los Angeles, with its refurbished floors, is no ordinary home.
“It would be three families we host here,” Valiente says.By “host,” she means provide refuge to people who may be sought by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE. The families staying here would be undocumented immigrants, fearing an ICE raid and possible deportation.
The purchase of this home is part of a network formed by Los Angeles religious leaders across faiths in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. The intent is to shelter hundreds, possibly thousands of undocumented people in safe houses across Southern California.
The religious leaders have a name for their network: the Rapid Response Team. Many congregations offered direct sanctuary, housing the undocumented immigrants, while others offered food and legal assistance. The Rapid Response Team mirrors that structure, but goes one step further by also incorporating private homes, which offer a higher level of constitutional protection than houses of worship and an ability to make it harder for federal agents to find undocumented immigrants.