U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement refused to suspend the deportation order for an undocumented Mexican immigrant who sought refuge in an Arizona church almost two weeks ago.
Rosa Robles Loreto has remained in Tucson’s Southside Presbyterian Church since Aug. 7 to evade a deportation order imposed after her immigration was discovered during a traffic stop.
“A sheriff stopped me and asked for my license. When I gave him my current Mexican one, he asked for my papers and I told him I didn’t have any…and he called immigration,” Robles told Efe.
She was detained at an immigration center for 60 days and after posting bail, went to contest her case in court - but her efforts were in vain and she received a letter ordering her to leave the country by Aug. 8.
“I’m here (in the church) because it’s the only chance I have to keep them from separating me from my family,” Robles said, who decided to stay in Southside Presbyterian as long a her husband and son continue with their normal life.
Her attorney, Margo Cowan, sent a plea to ICE asking that the deportation order be annulled; request denied. However, the agency said it had no plans to arrest Robles.
“After conducting a thorough review of Ms. Robles Loreto’s immigration case, ICE has decided to exercise prosecutorial discretion by not taking immediate action on (her) removal order,” the agency said in a statement.
“This case is a perfect example of a person who should not be deported,” Cowan told Efe.
She said the response she received from ICE is similar to the one she originally received in the case of Daniel Ruiz, who was in Southside Presbyterian from May 13-June 9.
Ruiz finally received a suspension of his deportation order, which allowed him to obtain a work permit and remain in the country legally for one year.