Faith leaders around the nation have been quietly banding together to create an "underground railroad" of sorts to help illegal aliens escape the newly watchful eyes of President Donald Trump's immigration officers.
The original Underground Railroad was a secret network of civil rights and anti-slavery activists who risked property and life to help slaves, in the lead-up to the Civil War, escape to freedom.
But now that phrase is being reinvented to refer to illegal aliens.
"It's hard as a Jew not to think about both all the people who did open their doors and their homes and take risks to safeguard Jews in moments where they were really vulnerable," said one man, speaking anonymously to CNN about the opening of his own home to shelter illegals. "As well as those that didn't. We'd like to be the people who did."
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This latest “underground railroad” is being coordinated by a group of faith leaders in California who hope to spread the network nationwide. And while participants and organizers admit they could be breaking the law, their view is that the human rights of the illegals trump legal concerns.
"There's some element of we're entering into territory that I don't know exactly what the consequences are," the man said to CNN. "But I think I know what the moral consequences are for me if we don't act. Like this isn't a moment to be standing idly by."
A policy put in place by Barack Obama's administration demands federal agents respect the walls of a religious institution and not enter without approval. Faith leaders don't hold much hope that policy will stay put under Trump. So what they're doing is setting up safe havens to house the illegals on the sly.
They are exploiting the Fourth Amendment, which compels government officials to obtain warrants before entering homes.
"People will be moving into a place so that ICE can't find them," said Rev. Zach Hoover of L.A. Voice, speaking of the network he says is now prepared to shelter hundreds of illegals, the Blaze reported. "[Then] they can stay with their family ... they can be with their husbands, so that they can avoid being detained and deported."
Hoover said it won't be long before the underground network reaches the level where it can accommodate thousands of aliens.
And he said it's his religious convictions that are fueling his work.
"I feel really convicted that I answer to God, at the end of the day," he told CNN. "That's who I'm going to see when I die. And I hope that we can live to who we are."
Another Christian leader, Pastor Ada Valiente, echoed him.
"We're trusting in God that He would help us, guide us to make the right decision," Valiente said to CNN.
Trump rose to White House power on a promise to crack down on open borders and deport criminal aliens. He's clarified in recent days that his priority isn't to deport "Dream Act" illegals – those of minor-age who were granted reprieves from deportations under Obama.
But he's not yet backed off his plan for a wall to be built on the southern border with Mexico or his call for mayors around the nation to quit offering sanctuary shelters for illegals. On that last, Trump has threatened to strip federal funding from cities that insist on keeping their sanctuary labels.