In February 2017, UUFRC voted to become a Sanctuary Congregation. This was a moral commitment. Our first principle is the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and that includes immigrants, and all of us. And our second principle is justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. As a moral issue, we cannot ignore the plight of our immigrant neighbors, many of whom live in fear of the immigration authorities and the risk of being detained and deported.

Sanctuary congregations are churches that have agreed to support undocumented immigrants facing the risk of deportation. UUFRC is a member of the Peninsula Interfaith Coalition for Immigrants, a network of ten or so sanctuary congregations in San Mateo County. We do not provide shelter here in the church, but we can help.

If you or your family needs help, please contact the Fools Mission – Thomas Atwood at (650) 759-5060 or  Si usted o alguien que usted conoce necesita ayuda, póngase en contacto con Thomas Atwood con Fools Mission o (650) 759-5060.

If you want to find out more about UUFRC’s role in the Sanctuary movement in this area, contact Nancy Goodban at or (650) 787-9859.  Si desea obtener más información sobre el papel de la UUFRC en el movimiento del Santuario en esta área, póngase en contacto con Nancy Goodban en o (650) 787-9859.

The new sanctuary movement has four components. Sanctuary congregations can participate in areas such as:

  1. Providing physical sanctuary to immigrants at risk of deportation. UUFRC does not do this, but the Congregational Church of San Mateo (CCSM) and UU San Mateo (UUSM) are doing so right now. They are hosting two transgender women from the Rainbow Caravan seeking refuge from violence and persecution in Central America.
  2. Providing support to congregations that provide physical sanctuary. We support UUSM and CCSM as they provide physical sanctuary for refugees.
  3. Advocacy – we track and support local, state, and national legislation and policies for immigrant rights. We partner with Faith in Action Bay Area, which does advocacy and training and operates the MigraWatch hotline (203) 666-4472) which is staffed 24/7 to receive reports of possible ICE action in homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods. We hand out Know Your Rights flyers in English and Spanish at local churches and community events. We advocate with local law enforcement to support immigrant rights.
  4. Accompaniment – with the local nonprofit agency Fools Mission and others, we help individual immigrants navigate the shoals of immigration court, social services, and health care bureaucracies, and can provide rides, tutoring, and moral support.

More information is available at the following links:

  1. Information About Sanctuary (English PDF)
  2. Información sobre Santuario (Spanish PDF)
  3. Know Your Rights (English PDF)
  4. Conozca Sus Derechos (Spanish PDF)
  5. Immigration Legal Services Referral/Listo de Servicios Legales de Inmigración (PDF)