Immigrant From Ecuador Seeks Sanctuary in Cambridge Church

Since Sunday, a mother from Ecuador and her two young daughters have called a church home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Members of the Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition say the woman came to University Lutheran Church in fear she was going to be deported back to Ecuador.

"I think it was clear seeing the fear in her face, the terror in her eyes, once of the things that she said is that it is very scary to know that not only are they looking for her, but looking for her in that way," Nestor Pimienta, with the S.L.I.C. Reggie Community said on Wednesday.

"She feels calm, a piece of mind being whiten this sacred space," he added.

According to coalition members, other undocumented immigrants have talked with the coalition, but this woman, who has not been identified, had a case that fit the perimeters for being offered sanctuary inside.

"There are a lot of stories, there are a lot of cases, we are dealing with them on a case by case basis as they come in," said Janine Carreiro-Young, Co-Director of Mass Communities Action Network.

Coalition members say the woman, and her two daughters, ages 2-years-old and 8 months, are being offered food and lodging. They say the woman can not leave the church in fear of being deported.

"As a person of faith, we are called to stand with the vulnerable," Rev. Kathleen O. Reed said. "They need a place to be able to rest their heads at night, to rejuvenate for the next day, and to move towards the possibility of a long term life in this great country."

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman didn't comment on the specific case.

"ICE may be looking for someone and if someone takes sanctuary in a church, depending on the circumstances, ICE would likely defer enforcement based on our sensitive locations policy," he said.

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