Latino Studies

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 485–508 | Cite as

Negotiating place, space and borders: The New Sanctuary Movement

  • Gregory Freeland
Original Article


This article examines immigration and immigrant rights through the activities of the New Sanctuary Movement (NSM). The NSM, which is led by religious activists, responds to the contradiction between the basic principles of freedom that have theoretically grounded the American political system and the practices that have allowed for the current measures taken against immigrants. This article employs narratives from NSM supporters, stories from undocumented individuals in sanctuary, and scholarly work to illustrate how the NSM works as a channel for mobilization and articulation of demands of supportive religious and political activists who seek comprehensive immigration reform, as well as providing sanctuary places for undocumented immigrants faced with deportation. The NSM in Ventura County, Los Angeles County and San Francisco, California, are used as case studies to conclude that the NSM has been effective in creating and taking advantage of political opportunities to improve public policies and immigrants’ ability to negotiate local, state and national political structures.


immigration New Sanctuary Movement political opportunity Latino politics social movements 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory Freeland
    • 1
  1. 1.California Lutheran UniversityThousand Oaks

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