St. Andrews University Student … /
Oct. 1, 1986, edition 1 /
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How Sanctuary Works
By EMILY POU KENNEDY
This article will answer some ques
tions about how Individuals from
Central America find refuge or sanc
tuary in U.S. churches.
Maryknoll sisters and many human
rights workers have worked in the
war-torn areas of Central America
and have themselves suffered at
times by government troops who
called them communists. For most
people in these countries, just
feeding their families is all they have
time to do. A few of the families live
under life-threatening conditions.
In El Salvador, Guatemala, the
Catholic Church and other relief
agencies house people who have lost
their homes and family members.
Most of the losses in these countries
are caused by forced relocation,
government repression and civil
strife. Unable to return home these
refugees turn northward to Mexico,
the U.S., and Canada. The conditions
in the overcrowded Mexican refugee
camps have for years been con
sidered horrid by the United Nations
High Commission for Refugees, so
refugees generally look beyond Mex
ico to the U.S. and Canada.
Mexican and Canadian officials
recognize these people as politically
persecuted refugees. The United
States, which provides financial sup
port for these nations, classifies
these people as economic refugees.
Economic refugees imrnjgrB^
"Mttt foRct m U.S. TO CHOOS6 BEraeau secuRiTy m> huwmi rasvns—
th6s& t>K/§ m aist m atpose hm ri6hts.,«"
order to improve their personal
economic situation and are not
granted political asylym. In the U.S.,
Central American refugees who can
not "prove" a "legitimate fear of
persecution upon return to their
country" are either imprisoned as il
legal aliens or deported back to Cen
tral America. This is where the sanc
tuary movement comes in.
Once a person is accepted for
sanctuary, phone calls are made
around the U.S. Refugees may travel
by night from one home to the next
for weeks or months before they
cross the border. From the time they
enter the U.S., they are sheltered by
concerned families or churches until
a "real" home may be found for
Many denominations have approv
ed "sanctuary" status. That means a
congregation is willing to accept im
prisonment for sheltering an illegal
alien. Lately, congregations have
been playing host to refugees within
weeks of adopting sanctuary status.
Once a home is found, the in
dividual or family travels to that chur
ch. A room is provided. Since they
are there illegally, they risk deporta
tion or imprisonment if they venture
out of doors. In some churches
where parishioners are hostile, the
refugees assume false identities to
protect themselves and surviving
With the risk, the church becomes
responsible for supporting this in
dividual or family until one of three
things happens: Canada accepts
them as refugees, the U.S. govern
ment enters the church and seizes
them, or their home country
becomes safe enough to return.
Capital Punishment Sends Mixed Signals
At 2:11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, John Rook became the third person to
die in North Carolina's death chamber since the death penalty was
reinstated by the U. S. Supreme Court in 1976. He followed Velma Barfield
and James Hutchins who were executed in 1984.
At 2 a.m. Rook had been injected with sodium pentathol which was
followed at 2:05 with Pavulon, a muscle relaxant, and John Rook's heart
was stopped forever.
About 50 death penalty supporters cheered, laughed and chanted
"Na na na na, hey, hey, hey, good-bye" while 150 persons who oppos
ed the death penalty lit candles and sang "We Shall Overcome". I was
unable to make the trip to Central Prison in Raleigh but there was at
least one candle burning on the St. Andrews campus. I believe, as
many others do, that no one, not even the State, has the right to take
another human life.
Perhaps the Rook case is not the best on which to debate the death
penalty. If ever there was a senseless crime, it was the murder nf Anno
Mari2^T980 ^he ^ center parking lot on
May 12, 1980^The Raleigh nurse was raped, beaten with a tire iron stabb-
with a fishing knife and run over with a borrowed car Medical in
vestigators reported that it may have taken Ann Marie Roche up to 2A
hours to die from loss of blood. P °
Maybe it is the sheer violence of the crime that makes it pasv fnr
to accept the death of John Rook. But the manner in a m
Roche was killed tells only half the story.
The people who laughed and cheered ac ir,hn d i
preferred to overlook his violent childhood Most of them^^
not victims of the physical and emotionaTabuse t af John Rnnf
were not beaten until they bled Their fethl 7
become stone drunk on liquor and beer. Perhaos th^r
puberty to experiment with such druas as ma ' ^'^til after
mushrooms, cocaine, amphetamines and heroine M^he tveT^""'"
tional stability that allowed them to cheer and lai.nh 1
stitutes, as John Rook did.
"I do think that's what caused the death of Ann Marie Roche and John
Rook," said J. Frank Johnson in a report by the Raleigh News and
Observer on September 20. Johnson, who was Rook's defense attorney in
1980, was referring to the history of mental instability, drug and child
abuse, which characterized the convicted killer.
Killing him is using violence to show violent kids they shouldn't be
violent," said Isabel Day, Vice President of North Carolinians Against the
Death Penalty and a Mecklenburg County public defender. "It's the most
^ heard of. Indeed. How can we teach young people
that killing is wrong and then turn around and kill the killers?
Durham resident Randall B. Klett, an hour after Rook's execution, sat
staring at the candle flickering in his hand. "I hurt," he said, "because there
were human beings cheering the death of another human being."
at type of attitude was popular in first century Rome but I expect
niore o a modern society. Randall Klett was stunned, as I was, that the
i°l I 'u'' John Rook except inject him
with lethal chemicals.
Editor .... 11 ■ ■
. . , Heidi Jernigan
Assistanr Editor Dave Snyder
Creative Writing Editors ^el Allen, Jr.
A » r J * John Pargas
Entertainment Editor ^loyd Meilenz
"ft Tr Editor Marjorie Hahn
aS^ Manager Kelly Hunt
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