2 given shelter from deportation

first_imgChurches gave sanctuary Wednesday to two men from Mexico and Guatemala to protect them from deportation and launch a nationwide effort to pressure lawmakers to create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. More than 30 priests, pastors, imams and rabbis blessed the men during a raucous ceremony attended by 300 people at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in downtown Los Angeles. “We are here to raise our voices for those who can’t raise their own,” said Cesar Arroyo, pastor of San Pablo’s Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, which will house the man from Guatemala. The immigrants each had two children in tow as they sat in front of the altar. The Guatemalan, a gardener who gave his name only as Juan, said he worried about what might happen to his young daughters if he was deported. Both girls are U.S. citizens because they were born in this country. “I want to ask the politicians to see the suffering of the immigrant families,” he said. The 44-year-old Mexican, who gave his name only as Jose, will live at the downtown church. He sat next to his two teenage sons who wore the latest American fashion and spoke more English than Spanish. They are also U.S. citizens. Jose said he had been in the country 17 years, working as a cook at Los Angeles International Airport until he was injured and his immigration status was revealed. After the ceremony, he went to his room in the church, which has a single bed, a sink and a toaster oven. “I’m going to stay here until this is resolved,” he said, referring to his deportation order. Organizers don’t believe immigration agents will make arrests inside the churches.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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