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to sanctuary activists, Cruz worked with an agent known to some as Solomon Graham and to others as Jose Morales. Three additional agents operated out of Phoenix, but Cruz seems to have been the main figure. Sanctuary workers say he showed up last spring and offered to help. Although he claimed not to be able to speak much English, he sat politely through lengthy sanctuary meetings. All the while, his ” concealed microphone was broadcasting to an agent parked in a van outside. Hundreds of hours of such tapes taken in church, at various meetings, and in cars are now in the hands of the federal prosecutors, and form the basis for the current indictments. On occasion, Cruz volunteered to ferry refugees back and forth to a bible study group in Phoenix. On Monday, 43 members of the bible group were arrested as illegal aliens. Cruz also became friends with Maria Del Socorro Pardo Aguilar, a woman in Nogales, Mexico, at whose home refugees preparing to cross the border would often stay the night. She would call Tucson, and Cruz would pick them up. She was also indicted. Although some sanctuary workers say they were suspicious of Cruz from the start, organizers let him drive refugees to Albuquerque and Los Angeles. Refugees recalled that Cruz often badgered them with odd but pressing questions: Where were they going? Where had they come from? Where were their relatives? Along the road, he would inexplicably stop the car to make phone calls. As Christmas approached, Cruz asked Phil Conger, executive director of the Tucson Ecumenical Council, which coordinates much of the activity for the 14 Tucson-area sanctuaries, for a list of all the refugees who had come through Tucson. Cruz said he wanted to send them Christmas cards. Conger refused. The January raids were the latest step in a concerted federal crackdown. About a year ago, the FBI began questioning sanctuary workers in Milwaukee. On February 17, 1984, U.S. border patrol agents in southern Texas stopped a car carrying three Salvadorans from Casa Oscar Romero, a refuge in San Benito, Texas. They arrested Sister Diane Muhlenkamp, a nun, and Stacey Merkt, a Catholic lay worker, both volunteers at Casa Romero. They were charged with illegally transporting the Salvadorans. Charges against Muhlenkamp were subsequently dropped when she agreed to help the government. Merkt was found guilty and given two years probation. Last summer, Jack Elder, director of Casa Romero, was indicted for transporting illegal aliens. A jury stunned federal prosecutors in January by acquitting Elder on all counts. At the pretrial hearing in Corpus Christi, Judge Hayden Head ruled that Elder was “acting out of religious commitment, hence protected by First Amendment rights,” but didn’t throw out the case. Both Elder and Merkt were indicted in another case in early December on charges of transporting illegal aliens, specifically five Salvadorans whom they allegedly helped get to Houston. _ THE SANCTUARY movement actually plays a minuscule role in bringing Latin American refugees into the U.S. There are, for example, 500,000 illegal Salvadorans in the country out of as many as three million illegal immigrants. There are about 180 congregations with 60,000 members who have endorsed sanctuary activities. Only half of these churches shelter some 500 to 600 refugees. Most sanctuaries are in Protestant churches. Quakers, Unitarians, and Presbyterians are leaders. Only 26 Catholic parishes, out of 19,000, have sanctuaries. “The church is split on this issue,” says a spokesman for Bishop Weakland of Milwaukee, a major sanctuary supporter. [See story, page 22.] The U.S. Catholic Conference, which can provide a united voice on legislative matters, so far has shied clear of the sanctuary issue, and instead supports “extended voluntary departure” status, which would allow refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala to stay in the U.S. temporarily. In New York, Archbishop O’Connor has not taken a position on sanctuaries. “We are working with the government,” says Father Frank Dominguez, director of immigration services for the archdiocese. “Personally, it rubs me wrong that they [sanctuary supporters] try that approach. . . . “They [the refugees] will not go back and be shot,” he continued. “You can check with the immigration department. They will tell you they [refugees] are being sent back every day.” In fact, the ACLU’s Political Asylum Project, which documents what happens to Central American refugees who are deported, cites at least 120 instances in which Salvadorans who were sent back have been murdered, tortured, or imprisoned. There are only three Jewish sanctuaries in Tucson; Madison, Wisconsin; and Milwaukee, though Milwaukee is no longer taking in refugees. Milwaukee’s Rabbi Francis B. Silberg is disappointed that the sanctuary idea hasn’t spread to other Jewish congregations. Some Jewish leaders simply say Central American refugees aren’t Jews and that it’s a “Roman Catholic problem.” Viewed through a wider lens, the sanctuary indictments amount to an attack by the government on the political opponents of the president’s Central American policies. Last year the FBI badgered CISPES \(the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvaactivities. The focus of opposition to Reagan’s policies, however, is the liberal wing of the church: across a wide range of Protestant denominations, and among a small but vocal minority of Catholics who espouse liberation theology. Liberation theology is at the core of the revolution in Nicaragua. It sustains the peasants in El Salvador. It provides the moral underpinnings for the idea of social democracy in Central America. Thus, an attack on the sanctuary movement is also a shot across the bow of a too liberal church. Of the 500,000 Salvadoran refugees in the country illegally, only 500 to 600 are being sheltered by churches. In Tucson, the sanctuary resistance is undeterred. Where 30 people usually turn out for a weekly peace vigil there, the week after the indictments 350 showed up. There was a bomb threat at Southside Presbyterian Church but it had no effect. The next weekend, the church provided sanctuary for seven Guatemalans. As sanctuary activists appeared for arraignment in Phoenix, the Tucson Ecumenical Council held a major meeting for sanctuary activists. “They single out Salvadorans and Guatemalans,” a Southside parishioner told me. “If somebody is from Poland or Cambodia, they are granted political asylum. I have no objection to that. But when you see these people from El Salvador and Guatemala. . . . My girlfriend opens the curtains Monday morning, and there are two border patrol cars, and they came in and searched her house, went through every paper, everything, looking for refugees. I feel like I’m living in Nazi Germany.” As for the future, “Let me put it this way,” she said. “We will continue to be Christians and good citizens and good Americans.” 8 FEBRUARY 22, 1985