Ingrid Encalada Latorre, who took sanctuary in a Quaker church in early December, is free to return to her normal life after being granted a temporary stay of deportation.
The undocumented mother of two U.S. citizen children made the announcement Saturday afternoon from a park near the church where she’s been living since early December.
In delivering the news, Latorre’s lawyer called it an “acknowledgment” by the government that she should “pursue her constitutional rights.”
The stay lasts about two months to accommodate Latorre’s hearing in July.
She was joined by Jeanette Vizguerra and Arturo Hernandez-Garcia, who were also recently granted stays.
“Two months is not enough” said Vizguerra, who also announced a national tour to talk about both of their experiences.
Jennifer Piper, an organizer with the American Friends Service Committee who helped Latorre enter sanctuary, said they do this work “to force change at the national level” and that sanctuary is not and end, it’s a means to make change.
Latorre’s troubles started when it turned out the papers she bought on the street belonged to a real person. And when that person got in trouble for not paying taxes, it led authorities to Latorre. She then got some bad legal advice and pled guilty to a felony, making her a No. 1 priority for deportation.
She requested a stay from deportation from Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Nov. 24 and went into sanctuary on Dec. 7.
Earlier this month, Latorre risked detainment to go to court and take the first steps in her fight to stay in the country. She made progress that day, but as Kevin reported then, it’s a complicated situation:
… she already tried to fix the record last year, when she tried to argue in court that her original attorney was incompetent. Neither of her new attorneys showed up, and so Latorre lost that attempt.
So, today was a second layer of what’s called post-conviction proceedings. She was out to prove that her second set of attorneys had failed in their duties as well.
The stay of deportation allows Latorre to leave sanctuary without fear of being detained while she pursues her legal case.
Kevin J. Beaty contributed to this report.