This week's arrest of nearly three dozen immigrants, in Hamburg and Grand Island, is being denounced by local faith leaders, organized labor, and immigrant rights advocates.
Rev. Justo Gonzalez says, what the U.S. is experiencing under the new administration is the "criminalization of human beings" - including refugees and immigrants. Gonzalez says, some may be undocumented, but non are illegal. And, he says, Pilgrim-St. Luke's in Buffalo has declared itself a sanctuary church.
"Anyone who fears Border Patrol or ICE will always find a safe and sacred space within our midst. And if that means that I or my community needs to be arrested we will stand and resist because we honor the dignity of all," Gonzalez said.
Rev. Matt Lincoln, of Trinity Episcopal, in Buffalo, says his church is also a sanctuary for immigrants. Rev. Lincoln says the protection of the vulnerable from inhumane treatment is a core value of the Christian faith.