Guatemalan Refugee In Austin Fined $300K For Not Leaving U.S.

October 6, 2019

AUSTIN, TX — As if undertaking the long, arduous journey from Guatemala to Texas with a child in tow, seeking refuge in the United States wasn't stress-inducing enough, a woman taking sanctuary at an Austin church has been fined more than $300,000 by immigration enforcement officials for resisting deportation.

Hilda Ramirez, 31, has been in sanctuary inside the St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 14311 Wells Port Drive, in Austin for nearly two years after receiving an order of deportation from federal immigration officials. It's her second time in sanctuary after a previous eight-month stint from February to October in 2016 before a four-month period when she was allowed freedom of movement as her case was studied. She took refuge in the church again after her request was denied, where she remains to this day.