Sanctuary: A Story of American Conscience and the Law in Collision

Ann Crittenden, Author Grove/Atlantic $21.95 (410p) ISBN 978-1-55584-039-6
Focusing on the 1986 federal trial of eight Arizona members of the Sanctuary Movement, Crittenden, director of the Fund for Investigative Journalism based in Washington, D.C., traces the movement's growth into a national underground railroad of churches involving hundreds of communities and thousands of individuals in the U.S. and Mexico. In defiance of our government, Sanctuary sheltered refugees fleeing the regimes of El Salvador and Guatemala, which the administration considers friendly nations. According to this persuasively documented study based on interviews with participants and opponents of Sanctuary, a division has been created between a benighted administration acting without a coherent asylum policy and the people who challenge what they consider unjust laws. A six-month trial that, according to Crittenden, served to selectively prosecute churches accused of smuggling illegal aliens resulted in suspended sentences and probation for the Sanctuary defendants. The movement nevertheless continues although ostensibly operating ``within the system.'' (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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