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ICE grants Peruvian native seeking sanctuary in Colorado stay of removal

Ingrid Encalada LaTorre
Posted at 5:15 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 22:29:10-04

BOULDER, Colo. — A Peruvian woman seeking sanctuary from deportation in Colorado was granted a stay of removal this week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"I feel good without that stress of checking every corner, that ICE is at every corner waiting to arrest me or deport me back to my country," Ingrid Encalada LaTorre said Friday.

She's lived at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder for four years. The church has acted as a sanctuary for LaTorre and her kids.

"I’ll be able to pick up my kids from school without that fear or terror. I felt before that ICE would be looking for me," she said.

LaTorre's immigration battle has made national headlines over the years, including giving birth at the church to avoid ICE and getting a pardon from Gov. Jared Polis for a felony conviction that involved using someone's Social Security number to get jobs.

"Let’s hope that this year they pass immigration reform, but we can’t lose hope," she said.

But this stay of removal is temporary, lasting only one year. She plans to use this time to fight for her right to stay in the U.S. legally.

"The next step is to reopen my case, and I hope that more doors will open because I need that green card, or permanent residency here, because I belong here," LaTorre said.

But first, she wants to do something with her newfound freedom that's very on brand for Colorado.

"I’ve always said I’ve wanted to go hiking, go to the mountains," she said with a laugh.