Grandmother Set For Deportation Is Offered Sanctuary In Greensboro Church

Grandmother Set For Deportation Is Offered Sanctuary In Greensboro Church

3:45pm May 30, 2017
U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. (Credit: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/2r8yqFJ)

A North Carolina grandmother scheduled for deportation will be offered sanctuary at a Greensboro church on Wednesday.

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church leaders voted unanimously to offer shelter to Juana Luz Tobar Ortega. She fled violence in Guatemala and arrived in Asheboro in 1993. She has worked in High Point for at least the last eight years.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has ordered her to leave the country and will not grant her a stay of removal, which led to the church vote.

According to advocacy group American Friends Service Committee, this is the first time in several years that someone has been offered sanctuary in North Carolina.

“There’s absolutely no reason for this woman to be torn away from her family and her community. She’s a child of God and we will give her shelter until ICE drops her deportation order,” said St. Barnabas Rev. Randall Keeney in a statement.

Ortega has four children and two grandchildren, and her husband is a U.S. citizen.

After a welcoming ceremony at St. Barnabus, Ortega’s supporters will head to Senator Thom Tillis’ office in High Point to ask him to intervene.

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