Originally Published in The Washington Post
Yonat Shimron - April 19, 2021
(RNS) — Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, who spent nearly four years in church sanctuary at an Episcopal church in Greensboro, North Carolina, will be allowed to go home beginning Monday (April 19).
Ortega, 48, is the latest undocumented immigrant to emerge from the network of U.S. churches that harbored people threatened with deportation by the Trump administration. Her Greensboro lawyer secured her a “stay of removal” from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She expects to get a work permit in the next few days.
A mother of four and a grandmother of three, Ortega took refuge at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on May 31, 2017, after being ordered to leave the country. She is a native of Guatemala but has lived in the United States for 28 years, most of them in the North Carolina town of Asheboro, about 30 miles from Greensboro. Her husband, Carlos, is an American citizen.