Undocumented mother seeking sanctuary in Denver granted temporary stay of removal

Posted at 11:57 AM, May 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-20 20:37:41-04

DENVER -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have granted an undocumented woman who had been seeking sanctuary at a Denver church since November has been granted a temporary stay of removal until Aug. 7, 2017.  

Ingrid Encalada LaTorre, 33, shared the news at the Mountain View Quaker meeting house Saturday afternoon. 

She was joined by her children, her immigration attorney, as well as Arturo Hernandez-Garcia and Jeanette Vizguerra, both of whom were also recently granted stays of removal. 

The stay of removal will allow LaTorre to attend the next stop in her court process, which will determine whether she was misadvised by her criminal defense attorney in her original case

“We are human beings. We are your neighbors and friends living and working alongside citizen," LaTorre said during a press briefing. "I appreciate this opportunity to safely continue my legal case from my home. I will continue to organize until our full humanity, contributions and place in this country are recognized.”

Her attorney, Jeff Joseph, said they were pleased with the decision to grant her a stay of removal, saying "It is an agreement that strikes a proper balance between ICE's duty to enforce the immigration laws with Ingrid's Constitutional right to Due Process."

LaTorre has been living at the Mountain View Quaker meeting house in Denver since the end of November after seeking sanctuary at the church when learning she could be deported last fall. The mother of two, from Peru, used false papers to work at an area nursing home.

LaTorre requested a deportation stay Nov. 24 with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) but still hasn’t received one.

“I am doing this to not only stop my own deportation, but also to raise awareness that there are thousands of others like me – people whose only offense was to work and pay into the social safety net, and whose only desire is to live safely with our families,” LaTorre told Denver7 last year.

Like Vizguerra, LaTorre has children who were born in the U.S. and are American citizens.

LaTorre says she is staying in sanctuary for her family’s sake.

“We cannot stand idly by and let our government threaten the integrity of families,” a spokesman for Mountain View, David Poundstone, told Denver7. “We feel called upon to engage in civil initiative to invoke the tradition of sanctuary to protect those under threat of harm.”