By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Members of eleven Philadelphia religious congregations today announced a partnership to provide sanctuary and support for immigrants facing deportation.

“The goal is to make President Obama act,” said Peter Pedemonti, executive director of the New Sanctuary Movement.

He and activists at the Philadelphia Praise Center, in South Philadelphia, want to see all deportations stopped immediately, with no exceptions.

“We need to stand in solidarity with the immigrant community,” Pedemonti said today, “really take a firm stand and say, ‘This is wrong and we’re not going to obey these laws that are unjust.’ ”

The Philadelphia Praise Center and Tikkun Olam Chavurah in Germantown say they will host families who face deportation, and nine other houses of worship will provide support.

Rabbi Linda Holtzman of Tikkun Olam Chavurah (at lectern in photo) says it’s our duty to stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves.

“Almost the entire Jewish world in the United States — myself included — is either the child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of immigrants,” she noted.

She says the thousands of deportations every week break up families and create undue emotional stress.