In the late 1980s, death squads in Guatemala and El Salvador roamed the country crushing any resistance to the U.S. backed fascist dictatorships. People began to flee north, seeking asylum and refugee status in the United States. Immigration offices close to the border were instructed to detain these asylum seekers and send them back to their countries, where they were met and disappeared by the death squads. Religious communities around the country, organized by the Christic Institute, took it upon themselves to help get the asylum seekers away from the border and up into northern states, where their plea for refugee status would be heard.
Sanctuary Movement Lectures from the Trajectory of Justice 2012 UCSC Class: