Federal law is supposed to apply to equally to all Americans anywhere and everywhere on U.S. soil – rich, poor, male, female, Democrat and Republican, recent immigrant and descendants of those who sailed on the Mayflower, and everyone in between those ends of the spectrum.

Ideally, those laws should also apply to those who are here regardless of their legal status, but instead, organizations like the New Sanctuaries Movement devote time, money, and effort to helping illegal aliens evade the consequences of their decision to enter and remain in the United States in violation of the law.

Fr. John Olenick, pastor of Visitation Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic church in Philadelphia, is the first to say that the parish is home to illegal aliens from Mexico, Central America, and other countries from around the world, although he will use the more politically correct phrase “undocumented people.”

The church offers more Sunday Masses in Spanish than in English to meet the spiritual needs of its parishioners, but it also offers more – in fact, Visitation Blessed Virgin Mary provides counsel and support to illegals facing deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

In fact, Visitation offers a 24/7 emergency phone hotline staffed by volunteers from the New Sanctuary Movement to respond when an illegal alien is the subject of a deportation “raid.”

An immediate response team goes to the scene to not only conduct prayer vigils, but record the raid to document the actions of the ICE agents.

The number to the hotline in Philadelphia is publicized on Spanish-language social media and on what Fr. Olenick calls, “know-your-rights cards” printed in Spanish and, to a lesser extent, other languages of the illegal alien community.

The pastor says the idea is not only to help the aliens, but to “send a direct message to ICE that deportations are not welcome in our city and state,” and respond to immigrants “very real feeling of being terrorized.”

Federal law is clear, but for illegal aliens, apparently being asked to comply equates with being “terrorized.”

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