US illegal immigrant who found sanctuary in church spared deportation

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed Navarro’s reprieve.

“After conducting a comprehensive review of Angela Navarro’s case, U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has chosen to exercise
prosecutorial discretion in this matter and has granted a Stay of Removal,”
ICE said in a statement.

The two-year reprieve comes after a massive campaign on her behalf that
included letters of support from U.S. Representative Bob Brady, a Democrat
from Philadelphia, as well as 11 members of Philadelphia’s city council, a
state senator and a petition drive that counted 6,100 signers.

“I was impressed with the amount of support she got,” said Navarro’s attorney,
Patricia Luber. “It speaks to her level of involvement in the community. She
truly is a member of her community.”

Navarro was the ninth illegal immigrant to take refuge in a church recently as
part of what activists call the New Sanctuary Movement.

Organizers offer sanctuary in churches because federal guidelines prohibit
arrests in sensitive areas unless there is a threat to public safety or
national security. Four of those nine remain in churches, with the rest
having been granted reprieves.

Churches in Chicago and the Arizona cities of Phoenix and Tucson have begun
sheltering immigrants, and organizers plan to include churches or synagogues
in 10 cities.

Nicole Kligerman, a community organizer for the New Sanctuary Movement, said
the reprieve gives Navarro the opportunity to obtain a work permit and a
green card.

Shortly after Navarro began living in the church, Obama issued an executive
action that would ease the threat of deportation for 4.7 million illegal

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