(06/18/07) THE BRONX ? Residents in the Bronx are using a religious movement in an effort to keep illegal immigrants together with their families.

The New Sanctuary Movement launched six weeks ago and has been steadily gaining momentum. The movement is seeking for more congregations to sign on and for Congress to pass the Child Citizen Protection Act.

Under the act, judges would be able to use their discretion to decide whether immigrant parents of U.S. children can be deported. Supporters of the movement said judges are restricted under current laws.

On Monday, the Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration in Longwood signed on to the movement. One individual who supports the New Sanctuary Movement said the issue of families being broken up is turning into a humanitarian crisis.

Related information: The New Sanctuary Movement