The National Sanctuary Defense Fund was established in 1984 to raise funds for the legal defense of sanctuary workers and
refugees from Central America. Immigrants from El Salvador and Guatemala in particular were arrested and indicted during the
1980s for violating federal immigration laws. Other immigrant groups were also included. Work with Haitian refugees in the
1990s included a visit by Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Berkeley, CA in 1994.Board members included Gustav Schultz and Eileen
Purcell. Administrators included Thomas Ambrogi, Penny Deleray, and Andrea Lampros.
Growing political and military ferment in Central America in the 1970s caused people to flee their countries, particularly
El Salvador and Guatemala. U.S. churches of all denominations became acutely aware of the situation after the assassination
of El Salvador's Archbishop Oscar Romero in March 1980. Individual congregations began to assist Central American refugees
escaping the oppression and violence by seeking asylum in the U.S. The U.S. government, due to its policies in Central America
and concerning asylum, did not recognize El Salvadorans or Guatemalans as qualifying for refugee status, deporting those who
were caught. The churches understanding of Sanctuary and aiding the oppressed conflicted with U.S. law. By 1984, not only
Central Americans were being detained, U.S. citizens who aided them were being arrested and indicted on various charges.
8.5 linear feet (9 boxes, 2 folios)
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