From Los Angeles-
Rev. Francisco Garcia, Jr. knows how difficult it can be for an immigrant to endure church-offered sanctuary.
A decade ago, as a lay person, Garcia supported an undocumented man living in sanctuary at a Lutheran church in North Hollywood. The Guatemalan gardener, who was subject to a deportation order, spent a year confined inside the church, mostly isolated from his family. Eventually, he couldn’t live that way and returned to his life in the outside world.
"That was incredibly hard... for everybody,” said Garcia, who today leads the Holy Faith Episcopal Church in Inglewood and is co-chair of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles’ Sanctuary Task Force.
Sanctuary, Garcia added, needs to be “a temporary” thing. “If it's not a (deportation) case that's likely to get overturned, (offering sanctuary) doesn't make sense...for the family and for the movement."
Still, with the recent resurgence of the Sanctuary Movement, such living arrangements soon might be more common.
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