Grace Evans

Grace Evans

2018 Undergraduate Fellow
Social Studies

Thesis title and description:

"Sanctuary Not Deportation: Political Opportunity and Movement Success in Texas and California Sanctuary Networks"

The Sanctuary movement originated in the United States in the 1980s as a faith-based movement to protect Central American refugees from deportation; in recent years, it has been revived by faith communities seeking to physically shelter and otherwise accompany undocumented people targeted by agents of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Through a comparative study of faith-based Sanctuary networks in the states of Texas and California, my thesis explores how federal and state institutions—specifically, immigration law and law enforcement—impact conceptual and enacted approaches to Sanctuary.

To this end, I will examine how participants in the Sanctuary movement enact strategy and religious framing within a United States political context that has become increasingly unfavorable towards undocumented immigrants. It is likely that shifting politics of migration will shape Sanctuary outcomes in the months and years to come; thus, a studied analysis of the movement as it currently stands is both pragmatic for sustained movement success and valuable in deepening our intellectual understanding of the role of politics and religion in social movement framing.