“Every mom”

Woman free after spending 461 days in Arizona church to avoid deportation

Photo via Facebook/ Rosa Robles Loreto Sanctuary

Rosa Robles Loreto, an undocumented immigrant who spent 461 days in an Arizona church to avoid deportation, was finally able to leave her sanctuary. “I’m so happy. I’m watching my boys. The air outside feels different,” the Mexican maid and mother of two told the Guardian. Robles moved to the US in 1999 and overstayed her visa, but should have been a “low priority” for deportation as she had no criminal record. After being stopped for a small traffic violation in 2010, the sheriff’s deputy called ICE agents who put deportation proceedings in motion. After years of fruitless appeals, right before she would have been deported in August 2014, she sought sanctuary in the Southside Presbyterian church and left her two children, now 9 and 12, in the care of her husband. After a long but vigorous campaign to let her stay, Robles’s lawyer Margo Cowan said she was finally able to strike a (non-disclosed) deal with Homeland Security: “I think Rosa is every mom, and her husband every dad. She took a stand in saying that she wouldn’t permit her family to be torn apart. It was a really powerful example.”

Robles urged others facing the same fate to not give up: “Keep knocking on doors,” she said. “If one closes, another can open. Keep fighting. God is with us.”

She told The Guardian she looked forward to returning to normal life, saying: “I’m going to take the kids to school. Be a mom.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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