A fifth undocumented immigrant is seeking sanctuary in North Carolina. A Greensboro church is opening its doors to shelter a man facing deportation back to El Salvador.
This is the second time that Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro has taken someone into sanctuary. Oscar Canales began staying there this week.
Canalas first came to the United States from El Salvador in 2005 and claims he had been checking in with federal immigration officials for the past five years. The 36 year-old says since then, he started a successful roofing business and is raising a family.
His wife, who didn't want to give her name, says Canales took sanctuary after being ordered to leave the country by January 18.
“My husband is a good father, he's a hard working man, he provides for his family. We like to fight for our family you know. No matter what happens, no matter how long it's going to take, we are going to be here.”
The church and other supporters are asking lawmakers for help to keep Canales stay in his community.
“We don't know what will happen,” says Canales's daughter Shirley. “He's been here so long and he doesn't want to go back. I'm worried that I will have to take on responsibilities for my family if he has to leave.”
Seeking sanctuary at a church is generally a last chance effort to stay in the country.
As a matter of policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement generally avoids raiding places of worship, which fall under the category of "sensitive locations." However, the agency is still able to take action if they have the approval of an "appropriate supervisory official" or if there's an immediate threat.
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