FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2017
DENVER, CO - On Tuesday October 17, Ingrid Encalada Latorre – a mother of two who spent five months in sanctuary at the Denver Quaker Meeting – returned to sanctuary to avoid her deportation.
“I made this difficult decision because my family is the most important thing to me and my children’s future is right here in their country,” says Latorre. “It doesn’t matter what sacrifices I have to make, I will do anything for my children because they deserve to stay in the only home they know. Even if it’s at the expense of my own freedom and having to return to sanctuary to keep my family together, that’s what it means to be a mother.”
Originally from Peru, Ingrid emigrated to the U.S. in 2000 to pursue her education and to reunite with her US citizen aunt who is a second mother to her. She has two children, Anibal and Bryant, who are both U.S. citizens.
In 2010, Ingrid was arrested while working at a nursing home for charges of using false documents in order to get a job. She completed four and a half years of probation, paid $11,500 in taxes and restitution, and spent over $30,000 fighting her deportation order through the courts. Unfortunately, her lawyer did not advise her properly of the immigration consequences of a plea bargain, making relief from deportation almost impossible for her. Last November, facing possible deportation, she was offered sanctuary by the Mountainview Friends Meeting and was granted a temporary stay of deportation in May. But a judge ruled not to reopen her case due to her plea bargain, putting her back on the path to deportation.
A pardon from Colorado Governor Hickenlooper was her only chance to stay in the country with her family, and community supporters launched a campaign to ask for mercy. With only a week and a half to review her case, the Governor denied the pardon one day before her set deportation date.
Communities across the state have mobilized in support of Latorre, offering sanctuary, signing petitions, holding rallies and vigils, and even fasting alongside her at the governor’s office. “I know this decision and this struggle have been agonizing for Ingrid at times,” said Jennifer Piper, Director of Interfaith Organizing for the American Friends Service Committee. “Our immigration policies trap families across the country, leaving them with only bad options: comply with deportation away from all you’ve built, hide, or stay and struggle for justice. Our faith calls us to ask, ‘Is it moral to separate mothers from children, husbands from wives, for lacking a piece of paper?’ Our faiths are clear that the answer is ‘no’ and we must stand with Ingrid, and all community members fighting for dignity.”
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