Religious Organizations, Refuge for Undocumented Immigrants, and Tax Exemption
6 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2017 Last revised: 19 Nov 2017
Date Written: August 29, 2017
The Trump Administration plans for aggressive enforcement of immigration laws have caused many houses of worship and other religious organizations to consider whether their beliefs call upon them to grant refuge or so-called sanctuary to undocumented immigrants. This brief essay considers whether these organizations would risk their tax-exempt status were they to do so. It reviews relevant judicial and IRS guidance. It concludes that IRS action to revoke exemption is unlikely, but that any house of worship or other religious organization deciding to act in this way should know that such a decision is not without some risk.
Keywords: Nonprofit, immigration, IRS, churches, sanctuary
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