ICE Should Grant a Covid-19 Stay of Removal!

As we all prepare for this pandemic and take precautions to stay safe we must remember our friends, Alirio, Hilda and 14-year old Ivan. These three have been living in Sanctuary under the threat of immediate deportation back to their countries of origin, El Salvador and Guatemala. Alirio entered sanctuary on August 8, 2017. Hilda and Ivan took up residence in a north Austin church in February of 2016. This means that Alirio has been “sheltered in place” for nearly 1,000 days. For Hilda and her son Ivan, they will pass 1,500 days this April.

These days are challenging for all of us. Whether it be our health, both physical and mental, our finances or what our world will look like when the threat of the corona virus has passed, our hearts and minds are struggling these days. We have been locked down for a few weeks now, depending on where you live. We are finding it difficult to live a life so restrained, isolated from family and friends, having to exercise great caution to perform simple tasks, like buying groceries. But at least we have the freedom to do all of this without the looming threat of deportation.

For Alirio, Hilda and Ivan, this pandemic takes on a whole new meaning. Now they are left wondering how they would seek medical care knowing that ICE could still arrest and deport them. It is why we are now calling on ICE to grant a Covid-19 Stay of Removal. With all of the stay-at-home orders and everything in place it makes no sense to still hold the fear of deportation over these families lives. Take action and help us protect Alirio, Hilda and Ivan!

Take Action: Five Things You Can Do Right Now

  1. Sign the petition asking Members of Congress to pressure ICE to grant Covid-19 Stay of Removals for Hilda, Ivan and Alirio.
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  2. Get the word out on Social Media: Sample message: “I just signed this petition http://bit.ly/txpandemicstay urging our Members of Congress to push ICE to grant a pandemic Stay of removal for Alirio, Hilda and Ivan. No one should have to prepare for this crisis with the threat of deportation hanging over them. I’ve only been @SocialDistancing for days now. These families have been in quarantine (from deportation) for over 1,500 days! I hope you all can join me in signing their petition, someone needs to pay attention to this!”
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  3. Sanctuary Masks for Those in Need: What better way to show our humanity than to give back when and where we can. Hilda is going to be donating all of the masks she makes to a local homeless initiative out of the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church. Alirio is going to donate all of his masks to the Austin State Supported Living Center. Please consider donating $10 to sponsor 2 masks!
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  4. Set-up a Meeting with the Leaders: We are calling on all organizations and communities of faith interested in getting more involved to meet directly with Alirio, Hilda and Ivan, over Zoom. Sign up, recruit a group of folks and then schedule your day to learn more from our three brave friends.
  5. Perhaps most important is to spread the word. Just take a minute to share this post with a friend or two. Alirio, Hilda and Ivan have been living this life for really long. They know nothing will change overnight, but they also know they can’t stop advocating and sharing their stories.

If you need more information, please email us.