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In Springfield, Mayor And Church Square Off Over Immigration Sanctuary

The Rev. Tom Gerstenlauer of South Congregational Church in Springfield, explains the sanctuary decision, on June 16, 2017.
Patrick Johnson
/
The Republican
The Rev. Tom Gerstenlauer of South Congregational Church in Springfield, explains the sanctuary decision, on June 16, 2017.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno on Monday directed city departments to consider public safety and building code violations at South Congregational Church. That's after the church announced it intended to serve as a sanctuary for immigrants who are undocumented and face deportation.

This is not a new idea. Churches around the country have housed immigrant families, because federal authorities tend to avoid arrests in places of worship.

The Rev. Tom Gerstenlauer is pastor at South Congregational. He tells us the congregation hopes to be fully prepared to accept immigrants within the next month.

Kari is a senior reporter and longtime host and producer of Jazz Safari, a musical journey through the jazz world and beyond, broadcast Saturday nights on NEPM Radio. Born in New York City, and raised in both Kenya and the U.S., Kari first arrived at NEPM as a UMass Amherst student fascinated by radio's ability to cross geographic and cultural boundaries. Since then, he has worked in several capacities at the station, from board operator and book-keeper, to production assistant and local host of NPR’s All Things Considered.
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