20 Mar 2019 strength, strength

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The Austin Sanctuary Network (ASN) is “a place where love and protection are living realities.” It is an Austin-based coalition of faith communities and others, who support immigrants fleeing violence or in danger of deportation. With “bold compassion and courageous love,” ASN stands in solidarity and inclusive community with our undocumented sisters and brothers who are being held unjustly and being denied asylum.

Here's the latest message from our friends at ASN: 

Alirio, Hilda, and Ivan are children of God residing in Austin, Texas who fled Central America to escape violence. On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, local clergy tried to check in on their behalf but ICE turned them away, showing that they do not support their right to live.

These three beloved friends have been in Sanctuary for more than a year, and had been granted a five-month temporary stay of deportation. But that ended on March 19.

Request for an extension to deferred action on their deportations were denied recently by ICE, without a valid explanation as to why. The facts of their case had not changed.

A press conference was held on Monday, March 18. On the next morning, the day after the deferred action expired, a rally took place at the San Antonio field office.

That is when our friends were required by ICE to present themselves in order to assist ICE in getting rid of them by cooperating in their own deportation. If our dear friends had shown up, ICE would have very likely deported them.

At the rally, Austin clergy members attempted to check in on their behalf. But ICE turned them away.

The crowd of 100 supporters gave speeches and chanted while waiting to hear news. Twelve-year-old Ivan made the courageous choice to attend and spoke to the crowd.

We learned the news that Alirio’s case was going to be marked as a no-show and be forwarded to Fugitive Operations. A warrant would likely be issued for his arrest. Boos and stunned silence followed. 

Then more songs and chants ensued for the sake of Hilda and Ivan. Many people from the audience were moved to speak.

Next we learned that ICE was planning to issue a warrant for Hilda and Ivan’s arrest as well.

We all understand that ICE has no regard for the precious lives of our beautiful neighbors. They have returned to the relative safety of Sanctuary where they are loved by the whole community who affirm their status as human beings and who recognize that they are beloved children of God being terrorized by ICE.

We call on continued support from Congressional Representatives Lloyd Dogget and Joaquin Castro, and we invite many more politicians to join us as we demand that ICE stop its inhumane treatment towards these cherished friends and neighbors.

Love & Justice,

Austin Sanctuary Network