34 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2017
Date Written: August 18, 2017
Spurred on by the Trump administration’s aggressive deportation policies and open hostility to immigrants, the “sanctuary” movement has seen rapid growth across a variety of sectors. With a clear religious foundation, churches, synagogues, and individuals associated with the sanctuary movement have pledged to offer housing, support, and assistance to vulnerable individuals at risk for deportation. Some businesses have publicly expressed their support for undocumented people; we now see sanctuary restaurants, sanctuary homes (for domestic workers), and sanctuary unions. But what happens if these businesses run afoul of immigration laws? Can they claim religious freedom as a defense for their actions? Following the logic of Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, we argue that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) could provide a shield for businesses, provided they act out of a sincere religious belief. Given this conclusion, we discuss the expanded role religion has begun to play in business today, and how this may ultimately be a dangerous result for civil society.
Keywords: Corporations, Immigration, Freedom of Religion, First Amendment, Sanctuary
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Brown, Elizabeth and Scott, Inara K., Sanctuary Corporations: Should Liberal Corporations Get Religion? (August 18, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3033929