Abolitionist futures and the US sanctuary movement

A. Naomi Paik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on the histories, current challenges, and future directions of the sanctuary movement in the United States, which is becoming a central front of resistance to the administration of Donald Trump. The article is comprised of three main components. It discusses the history of the US sanctuary movement and situates it in the context of the rise of neoliberalism and its attendant escalating criminalisation, particularly since the 1980s, when the first iteration of the movement began. The article then discusses the limits of sanctuary, rooted in the movement’s liberal framework that risks reproducing the exclusions it has sought to dismantle. It nevertheless argues for the importance of sanctuary in opposing the Trump regime, while advocating that the movement adopt a more radical framework and solidarity-organising strategies inspired by the prison abolition movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-25
Number of pages23
JournalRace and Class
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Central America
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service
  • Trump administration
  • Welcoming City Ordinance
  • abolition democracy
  • criminalisation of migrants
  • sanctuary movement
  • solidarity politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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