Part 1: Why more immigrants are taking sanctuary in Philly than any other U.S. city

Listen 14:21
The Thompson family who fled to the U.S. from Jamaica to escape threats from gangs lived in South Jersey for 14 years. After Oneita and her husband Clive received deportation notices, they took sanctuary at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown in September 2018. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The Thompson family who fled to the U.S. from Jamaica to escape threats from gangs lived in South Jersey for 14 years. After Oneita and her husband Clive received deportation notices, they took sanctuary at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown in September 2018. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

In Philadelphia, there are more immigrants trying to avoid deportation by taking sanctuary in houses of worship than any other major U.S. city. In a two-part series “Risking Sanctuary” with The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Why brings you the story of one couple from South Jersey that moved into a church in Germantown after the federal government told them to leave the country. WHYY reporter Laura Benshoff and the Inquirer’s Jeff Gammage examine what’s changed about the U.S. immigration system under the Trump administration and what it’s like to live in a church under self-imposed house arrest. Click here to listen to part two.

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