A group of religious leaders in Southern California has reacted to Donald Trump self-proclaimed “military action“ to hunt down and deport undocumented immigrants by creating secret private sanctuaries for the endangered people. An activist group called LA Voice (part of the PICO National Network), led by Executive Director Zach Hoover, has created what’s called the Rapid Response Team to shelter undocumented immigrants and their families in private homes, making it harder for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to root them out. ICE requires a search warrant to enter private homes, which are protected under the Fourth Amendment.
LA Voice — like many other organizations participating in the Rapid Response movement — does its charitable work under the belief that “every human is created with dignity,” but that often “our institutions fail to reflect this truth.” CNN has a long story about the efforts of people like Hoover and Pastor Ada Valiente to help those in need, a Christian mandate as they see it. Sheltering endangered people is one of the most natural human acts of kindness. It takes place all over the world, but it’s been a long while since it’s been needed in mass in the United States. That swiftly changed Donald Trump’s declaration of a “military action” to remove immigrants. Finding private homes to temporarily give shelter to a small number of immigrants gives temporary succor — there are an estimated one million undocumented immigrants in greater Los Angeles alone. The underground shelters of Rapid Response can shield only a tiny fraction of them.