A three-day conference aimed at building voter support for a campaign to declare Claremont a sanctuary for refugees escaping the violence and civil war in Central America will begin Sept. 20.
The conference is entitled "A City Considering Sanctuary: Claremont Looks at Central America Human Rights and Refugee Issues."
The Circle of Refuge Coalition, a grouping of religious, peace and student organizations that announced in June its intention to qualify a sanctuary measure for the November ballot, is organizing the event. The coalition has since indefinitely postponed its referendum drive to build public support for the sanctuary measure, said Charles Gelsinger, a coalition spokesman and co-director of the Interfaith Peace Center in La Verne.
The conference will be held at the Thatcher Music Building on the Pomona College Campus and will feature, among others, U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Arizona), co-author of a bill to halt the deportations of Salvadoran refugees; Karen Parker, an international human rights expert, and Secundino Ramirez, a member of the Human Rights Commission of El Salvador.