Sanctuary: Supporting Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers

Immigrants and asylum seekers are heartlessly challenged by the U.S. government.
Now, here's a challenge for you:  Contribute
Your gift received between Simchat Torah and Chanukah 5781 / 2020
will be matched up to $25,000 by the
CBST Jonathan David Grindell Memorial Fund for Social Justice. 

Help the CBST Immigration Clinic continue to train volunteers and attorneys to provide assistance with asylum and work permit applications, translation, accompaniment to USCIS interviews, direct support for our immigrant neighbors, and more.

Report on our Pro Se Clinic's one-year anniversary

As a community that comprises LGBTQ folk, Jews, and our allies, we know the dangers of demonization, and we embrace resistance and love as our response. We cannot be silent.

What is Sanctuary? 

According to T’ruah, Sanctuary is “the movement and the work of defending immigrants and standing up for their rights.” CBST is a proud member of the New Sanctuary Coalition and actively engaged in Sanctuary work, protecting and supporting our immigrant friends as they face attacks from the current administration.

Read below to learn more about the work we do, and email Clinic Coordinator Noah Habeeb at sanctuary@cbst.org to get involved. 

What Are We Doing?

CBST Immigration Clinic  Now online!

Since May 2019, CBST has held a weekly immigration legal clinic for asylum seekers in coalition with the New Sanctuary Coalition, Seeking Asylum Finding Empowerment (SAFE), and RUSA LGBT. Our clinic now functions entirely online. At the clinic, attorneys and non-attorneys work with asylum seekers to prepare asylum applications, supporting documentation, and other government forms.

If you would like to volunteer with the clinic on Wednesday or Thursday evenings, contact Clinic Coordinator Noah Habeeb at sanctuary@cbst.org. Be sure to check our calendar for upcoming online Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses for attorneys and training sessions for non-attorneys!

CBST Bail Fund

One of the most immediate and effective ways to reunite immigrants in detention with their families is by paying their bail. Bail is submitted on behalf of detainees who are then released to pursue their legal case while living in their community instead of behind bars. Please contribute to the CBST Bail Bond Fund, with all proceeds supporting the New Sanctuary Coalition’s “Life Bond Fund” which has already helped release 25 immigrants from detention. Please make your fully tax-deductible contribution by check (with memo: CBST Bail Bond Fund) or give online HERE.

Questions? Contact sanctuary@cbst.org.

Accompaniment ***The accompaniment program is currently paused due to COVID-19***

The New Sanctuary Coalition (NSC) accompaniment program recruits and trains volunteers to accompany people facing deportation to their immigration hearings and ICE check-ins. This provides moral support to the person facing deportation and enables volunteers to hold immigration authorities accountable. Standing in solidarity with migrants facing deportation also demonstrates to immigration judges, ICE officers, and government attorneys that there is a community mobilized against their deportation.

Until the necessary restrictions due to Covid-19, CBST members have regularly participated in accompaniments. As soon as they resume in person, we will post more information here about how to get involved. 

Our Partners

  • RUSA LGBT provides informational support to asylum seekers and organizes social events to increase acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ people within the Russian-speaking public. We fight for social justice, human and civil rights for LGBTQ people in America and in the former Soviet Union. RUSA LGBT advocates for justice for asylum seekers and for equality worldwide!
  • SAFE (Seeking Asylum and Finding Empowerment) seeks to empower immigrants and vulnerable populations who have been marginalized due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors to reach their fullest potential by providing humanitarian assistance while fostering understanding and cooperation among diverse communities.
  • The New Sanctuary Coalition (NSC) springs from New York’s faith-based and social justice communities and forms a unique family of citizens and immigrants, bound by a love of humanity and mutual respect. Operating for a decade on less-than-shoestring budgets, NSC has done enormous good for our community. NSC operates a pro se legal clinic and accompaniment program, and hosts weekly community meetings, Jericho Walk protests, and other events. CBST serves on the board of directors of NSC.
  • The Synagogue Coalition and Downtown Jewish Life is a group of synagogues and Jewish non-profits coordinating and amplifying efforts to engage more deeply in this work. The group collaborates with organizations like HIAS and T’ruah to advocate for and assist refugee and immigrant families. By partnering with them we are creating a louder voice for justice and equality on these crucial issues.
  • Faith in New York is a significant multi faith organization that advocates for a number of different issues, including supporting immigrants. We are also partnering with them to further our sanctuary work and deepen our interfaith relationships.

Articles & Resources