Circles of Protection

Across all faith traditions we share the values of caring for the vulnerable, welcoming the stranger and loving our neighbors. Our Circles of Protection are formulated to embody these values in the different spheres of our lives. Everyone has an essential role to play and participation in a Circle is one way to put your faith into action.  Below are some of the Circles of Protection you may want to organize in your community.

This is also an invitation for community members without a faith affiliation to support the work of the Central VA Sanctuary Network.



Creating and promoting community funds to be distributed to families facing deportation, detained individuals in need of bail, and sponsorship of legal fees for the very expensive immigration process for those eligible for relief.


In Virginia, undocumented immigrants and 12 categories of lawfully present immigrants are ineligible for driver’s licenses. Set up an alternate transportation network, assist with transportation to regular appointments with federal immigration officers, and provide transportation for families of those living in Sanctuary.


When an individual or family takes public Sanctuary in a place of worship, the media campaign is the most essential component in winning the immigration case. The Communications team will plan and produce media events as well as coordinate within the Network. Additionally, the Communications Circle will issue public responses to incidents of hate speech and hate crimes on behalf of the Network.

Legal Resources

One of the most practical ways we can stand in defense of our neighbors is by providing legal resources. This could look like hosting “Know Your Rights” clinics, Power of Attorney events, or sponsoring individual legal cases. This is also the Circle for attorneys who are willing to provide pro bono counsel in the event of raids or Sanctuary cases.


The Outreach Circle coordinates with local rapid response groups, sets up trainings for the Network and recruits congregations to join the local Sanctuary Network.


In cases of public Sanctuary or the detention/removal of a community member, the Hospitality Circle arranges meals, visitation, entertainment, and counseling.

Resettling Asylum Seekers

Asylum seekers enter the U.S. fleeing circumstances nearly identical to those that drive refugees to seek safe harbor. However, asylum seekers are not provided with any benefits or supports while waiting for the multi-year adjudication process to be completed. Faith communities can provide protection and welcome to our neighbors seeking asylum.


All of the Circles of Protection and the Central VA Sanctuary Network will also work to support the movements for Inclusive schools and Sanctuary For All:

Inclusive Schools

Ensure that your local and denominational schools are actively pursuing environments that support, empower and protect vulnerable communities.

Sanctuary for All

Work with other local advocates to make your locality safe and free for all people, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexuality, ability, and immigration status. See Part 1: Welcoming All Cities, Counties and Towns.