Sanctuary Rising

Through the eyes of two undocumented mothers with deportation orders, Sanctuary Rising takes us into the world of faith, immigration, and courageous women fighting to keep their families from being torn apart.

DocPtich doclands documentary film festival winner

Sanctuary Rising is an intimate portrait of two undocumented mothers who go to dramatic lengths in order to fend off deportation orders and stay with their families. In open defiance of immigration authorities, Jeanette Vizguerra and Ingrid Encalada Latorre have taken the extraordinary step of claiming Sanctuary in houses of worship. They vow not to leave until they can be in the U.S. without fear of deportation, and become part of a growing National Sanctuary movement that began more than thirty years ago. The spine of Sanctuary Rising is held up by the narrative of Jeanette, as she enters sanctuary in 2017 and then re-enters Sanctuary two years later, as well as Ingrid, who has been in Sanctuary three times, for collectively more than two years.

The film not only examines the experience of these two mothers, but of their U.S.-citizen children who are going through a uniquely challenging experience as their mothers now are unable to leave the churches they call home. Through the stories of these courageous women, the congregations that support them, and the history of the Sanctuary movement in the 1980’s, Sanctuary Rising asks the burning question: “What are faith communities morally bound to do when, in the face of unjust immigration policy, families are being torn apart? Now, Jeanette faces an uphill battle against ICE and the Trump administration. Her pathways to legal status are limited, and after spending 86 days in Sanctuary the first time, there is no telling how long she will have to stay in Sanctuary this time as she fights to stay with her children in the U.S.

Get Sanctuary Updates

The time is now: Sanctuary today

Rosa’s Story: The 461 day fight

The 1980’s: Lessons from a National movement

Additional Content

Sanctuary: A short history in San Francisco

An exploration of Sanctuary as it played out in San Francisco during the 1980’s.

The Sanctuary Trials

Two perspectives from Sanctuary workers who were arrested and indicted in the famous ‘Sanctuary Trials’ in the 80’s.

Thoughts from a Pastor

Rev. Neal Anderson’s congregation provided protection for an immigrant at risk of deportation in early 2016.