Local churches aim to shelter illegal immigrants

BROCKTON, Mass. — The Department of Homeland Security is set to issue new guidance for additional immigration enforcement officers, and proposed guidelines would empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport undocumented immigrants.

When Trump rolls those plans out, many people, including local parishioners, will be watching closely.

An estimated 200,000 illegal immigrants are living in Massachusetts right now and with Trump's immigration ban in place, many of them are worried they could be deported.

Many congregations in the state, including the Central United Methodist Church in Brockton, are joining dozens of other U.S. churches to help shelter illegal immigrants as the Trump administration intensifies deportation efforts.

According to the Boston Globe, at least three Boston-area congregations plan to offer living space in their buildings to illegal immigrants.

Houses of worship offer no legal protection for undocumented immigrants, but immigration officials have generally followed a "sensitive locations” policy and have not taken people into custody in houses of worship, schools or hospital.

Sanctuary cities have come under scrutiny since Trump took office. He's threatened to pull federal funding and that could impact places like Somerville, Boston and Lawrence.

Last week the Associated Press reported a leaked memo indicated that the National Guard may be called in to help with deportations.

Trump’s original executive order triggered chaos at airports across the country and around the world including in Boston as travelers were detained when his original order went into effect.

Trump revised his immigration ban after federal courts held up his original executive order.

According to Trump administration officials, the revised ban will target the same seven countries listed in his original executive order.

It will also so exempt travelers who already have a visa to travel to the United States, even if they haven't used it yet.

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