NEW BERLIN -- Pastors of a New Berlin church say they want to be seen as a sanctuary for those who may face sudden deportation. They are encouraging other places of worship to do the same.
Pastors of Casa de Restauracion Church in New Berlin, tell FOX6 News after hearing the concerns of their parishioners they felt the needed to do something.
The ordinary church in New Berlin is becoming more than just a house of worship.
"If something should happen we want to be ready to help our [parishioners] and anyone else who is in need," said Emmanuel Rios, Casa de Restauracion Church.
This week, Pastor Emmanuel Rios and his wife Teresita Reyes, have begun collecting donations that will help transform their church into a sanctuary for anyone facing deportation. They are working in partnership with Voces de la Frontera.
"There's a beautiful movement of people reaching out to us on social media telling us they want to donate," said Pastor Rios.
Pastor Rios took our FOX6 crew on a tour of the building. He says after hearing the worries of his congregation, he had to do something to help. There's a meeting room that can be transformed into a place for people to sleep, a nursery is in place for children to play and in the basement, a working kitchen and large event room that can fit up to 40 people.
Pastor Reyes says she comforts mothers who fear they will be separated from their children.
"I was with one of them yesterday and the only thing she did was cry and all I could tell her that it's OK, but it's so painful. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes," said Teresita Reyes, Casa de Restauracion Church.
They want to see other places of worship follow in their footsteps.
"This isn't a rebellion against the President, this is an act of solidarity and act of love with the community," said Rios.
The pastors say they understand they have no legal authority to shield people from deportation, but if they didn't do this they would be ignoring the teachings of their religion.
"We also pray for our President. We bless him. I know he wants to create borders but we have spiritual borders that with God's help can't be surpassed," said Rios.
The need right now is inflatable mattresses and non perishable food items. The pastors ask that anyone who wants to donate call in advance.