Sanctuary WNC


At its heart, WNC Sanctuary Movement is dedicated to ensuring that western North Carolina is a “positive place” for Latinx communities, one in which families can live their lives without fear of sudden detainment or deportation. When our verifiers assess a potential threat like an ICE checkpoint, they directly inform the Latinx community whether their neighborhoods are “healthy public spaces that encourage gathering” — as the THRIVE model defines a “positive place” — or places of imminent danger if they leave their homes. The families we serve cannot assume their neighborhoods are safe, so the work we do is crucial to increasing their sense of security in their communities.

Fundamentally, WNC Sanctuary Movement is a grassroots effort comprised of a multi-faceted coalition of community and faith leaders within and without the Latinx community, as well as over 500 allied members. By working in a dedicated partnership with the Latinx community to make western North Carolina a safe space, we slowly rebuild trust that has been severely damaged in the wake of the current administration’s immigration policies. Emerging and established Latinx leaders are members of the WNC Sanctuary Movement Council, a group of 15 who oversee the organization. Through our Congregational working group, we also educate and support faith communities — the traditional providers of sanctuary — in their efforts to provide physical sanctuary within their neighborhoods.

When we help families procure the legal fees to free their loved ones from detention, we not only reunite families but also often return working men and women to their jobs. By helping DACA recipients renew their applications, we ensure that they can legally apply for local jobs. These are just some of the ways in which we “improve equitable opportunity” for a community currently living in inequitable conditions.


Our community has come together to support the immigrant community in tremendous ways in the last month. Hundreds of people have come out to support press conferences and vigils, gathered resources and provided direct support to families. We raised over $60,000 in a week, which was amazing and- unfortunately is barely making a dent in the financial burden of the families impacted by the raids.

We are in the process of dispersing nearly all of the money raised, sending $2,000 to each of the 28 detainees to support them and their families. From losing their main source of income to expensive legal fees, these families need your support. Donate to the WNC Sanctuary Movement Fund. 

We are asking the community to step up in two ways. Here’a the plan:

  • Be a Padrino and Sponsor a Detainee: Connecting faith communities or other organized groups to become Padrinos (‘God Parents’) of individual detainees helps to meet the unique needs of each family and build relationships that journey together through the needs of the detainee and their family.
  • Bond Fund: Raising funds that can be used by detainees to get out of detention and back with their family while they fight their case. Once their case concludes, the money goes back into the fund for someone else. This is a long term solution to a an immediate need, to help detainees fight their cases from the outside. This fund will be an ongoing resource to the community in the future. Donate to the Bond Fund.
  • Transportation and Volunteer aid: We need to expand our capacity to meet the needs of our community and the affected families. If you would like to support the Sanctuary Movement with your time and skills, please fill out the forms in these links accordingly: