- Title: From a church sanctuary, Colorado woman defies deportation
- Date: 26th July 2017
- Summary: MANCOS, COLORADO, UNITED STATES (RECENT) (REUTERS) ROSA SABIDO, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT IN SANCTUARY CHURCH, STARING OUT WINDOW EXTERIORS OF CHURCH WIDE VIEW OF COLORADO LANDSCAPE SUNFLOWER VARIOUS OF SABIDO DURING A YOGA SESSION SABIDO STARING OUT CHURCH WINDOW SABIDO WITH CHURCH PASTOR CRAIG PASCHAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROSA SABIDO, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT, SAYING: "I will plea, I will cry, I will ask to whomever to let me stay by my mom." SABIDO ON COMPUTER SABIDO SEEN THROUGH CHURCH WINDOW MORE EXTERIORS OF CHURCH PASTOR CRAIG PASCHAL IN CHURCH (SOUNDBITE) (English) CRAIG PASCHAL, PASTOR OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF MANCOS, SAYING: "As people of faith, we are called to follow Christ. To be imitators of Christ, to love our neighbors, to respect life and so when we have laws that are de-valuing people and criminalizing people we have an obligation. It's certainly not comfortable, it's not easy but that's who we are called to be." VARIOUS OF CHURCH MEETING ROSA SABIDO DURING MEETING WORKING SHEET OF ACTIONS TO HELP ROSA (SOUNDBITE) (English) SUE RYTER, CONGREGATION MEMBER, SAYING: "Slavery was a law and it needed to be changed and there are laws like women couldn't vote. That law needed to be changed and this is one of those laws." EXTERIOR OF BAKERY PEOPLE EATING ROY JARBOE, TRUMP SUPPORTER, SPEAKING WITH A FRIEND (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROY JARBOE, TRUMP SUPPORTER, SAYING: "I believe that if you are breaking the law in the country and if you are harboring a criminal then you are breaking the law and the people at the church should be arrested. That is what I believe." (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROSA SABIDO, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT, SAYING: "I have tried so many years. I don't want to give up right at this moment. I want to keep on trying. I want to give everything, what is left of me in this fight. I want to give everything I have." VARIOUS OF SABIDO IN HER ROOM IN CHURCH, CRYING SABIDO, HER PARENTS AND PASTOR CRAIG PASCHAL SITTING IN THE CHURCH (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BLANCA VALDIVIA, ROSA SABIDO'S MOTHER, SAYING: "I felt bad. It took me by surprise. I didn't know what to do she had already decided (to seek shelter) and the only thing we could do is support her because she supported us. But it's difficult. It's difficult because we need her. " VARIOUS OF ROSA SABIDO AND HER MOTHER
- Embargoed: 9th August 2017 15:06
- Keywords: illegal immigrants undocumented immigrants sanctuary church immigration Rosa church sanctuary Mexico Trump
- Location: MANCOS, COLORADO, UNITED STATES
- City: MANCOS, COLORADO, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016RCQV5Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Rosa Sabido stares out a church window pondering her future and worrying about her ailing mother.
For nearly two months since taking sanctuary at the United Methodist Church in Mancos, a small town in the mountains of southwest Colorado, Sabido, 53, has lived in a cramped room with a makeshift shower. She sleeps beneath a mural of Noah's Ark in what used to be the church nursery.
Sabido leaves her room to use the toilet, or stretch her legs in the garden, or attend worship services, but if she steps off church property she risks arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Sabido has been battling to stay in the United States for most of the last 30 years after crossing the border illegally from Mexico. In 2002, a judge ordered her to leave the country under a "voluntary deportation" order, a decision she appealed through a succession of courts and lost at every point.
Since 2011, ICE has granted her one-year deportation stays that allowed her to remain in the country, but when she applied for another one last April it was denied.
Sabido is out of legal options, but she is determined not to leave. "I will plea, I will cry, I will ask to whomever to let me stay by my mom," she said in an interview with Reuters at the church. Sabido's mother and stepfather are naturalized U.S. citizens.
"It took me by surprise," Sabido's mother Blanca Valdivia said of her daughter's decision seek sanctuary at the church. "The only thing we could do is support her because she supported us. But it's difficult. It's difficult because we need her."
Immigration officials have a long-standing policy of not conducting enforcement operations in sensitive locations such as places of worship, but they have little sympathy for those illegally living in the country.
About 800 congregations in the United States have offered to give sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation, according to the Church World Service's Immigration and Refugee Program. Sabido is one of at least 12 immigrants currently taking shelter in churches, according to the group.
Pastor Craig Paschal says the decision to turn his church into a sanctuary, and a focal point in the nationwide immigration debate, was not easy but he considered it a Christian duty.
"When we have laws that are devaluing people and criminalizing people we have an obligation. It's certainly not comfortable, it's not easy, but that's who we are called to be," he said.
Church members bring food, their pets and activities such as yoga classes to keep Sabido company.
Congregation member Sue Ryter, 74, says she sees the church's action as a matter of conscience.
"Slavery was a law and it needed to be changed and there were laws like women couldn't vote. That law needed to be changed, and this is one of those laws," Ryter said.
Some Mancos residents disagree. "I believe that it's way too easy to get into this country," said Roy Jarboe, 69, who supports Trump's immigration crackdown.
"I believe that if you are harboring a criminal you are breaking the law, and the people at the church should be arrested," he said.
Sabido, who worked as a church secretary, a tax preparer and a cook over the past three decades, says one reason she took sanctuary was to highlight the plight of millions of immigrants like her.
"I have tried so many years. I don't want to give up right at this moment. I want to keep on trying. I want to give everything, what is left of me in this fight," she said.
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