The Center for Civil and Human Rights convened a Notre Dame panel on January 18, 2017 to discuss the historical development, possibilities, and realities of sanctuary as a civil strategy for the protection of vulnerable populations.
With renewed concern that immigrants, including those falling under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, face an increased risk of targeted discrimination or harassment, many have called for more robust sanctuary policies on college campuses and in communities across the nation. In light of these developments, the the panel was designed to bring clarity to the issue.
Participating in the panel were Luis Fraga, Institute of Latino Studies, offering an overview of the experience of sanctuary cities while touching upon the subject of universities and sanctuary; Leo Guardado, PhD. student at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, reviewing the religious history of the sanctuary concept, and how to reclaim this concept/practice as a central theological category; Lisa Koop, associate director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center, examining Federal, state and local government actions directed at immigrants, and the possible responses of lawyers and communities; and Rick Garnett, director of the Program on Church, State & Society, Notre Dame Law School, discussing the ways in which religious freedom laws might intersect with sanctuary.