Kim David/Townsquare Media

Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Two Rochester churches have taken a formal stance on the immigration issue.

A vote taken Sunday by the congregation of the First Unitarian Universalist Church showed overwhelming support for a resolution that enables it to speak out and act against immigrant injustice including giving sanctuary to undocumented persons.

Earlier this year, a church task force worked with area faith communities, Latino/Hispanic organizations, and the ISAIAH organization. Spokesman Phil Wheeler says his church isn’t ready yet to begin offering sanctuary services but hopes to in the near future.

Another Rochester church has become a “sanctuary community” and is ready to accept one family. The congregation of the  Peace United Church of Christ approved the move about a week ago. Two other Rochester religious communities, the Quakers and Sisters of St Francis, have formally announced their support of a sanctuary community.

Wheeler says the sanctuary community service is not illegal and is beneficial to undocumented immigrants.

Wheeler says there is not an accurate number of undocumented immigrants in Rochester but estimates the total across southeast Minnesota is around 5,000.

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