sanctuary

Dec 6, 2017
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News 4 San Antonio

Group caravans to San Antonio to support asylum seeker facing deportation

"A group of immigration supporters are on their way home after trying to stop the deportation of a man seeking asylum.

They came to San Antonio on Wednesday to plead his case.

Around a couple dozen supporters braved the cold and the rain to voice their support for Alirio Gamez.

'As a community we should get to decide who is a part of our communities,' said Claudia Munoz, a supporter who traveled from Austin to San Antonio. 'That's the message we're bringing to ICE.'" Read more about Group caravans to San Antonio to support asylum seeker facing deportation

Dec 5, 2017
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Houston Chronicle

Caravan supports immigrant seeking church sanctuary in Austin

"It has been three months since Salvadoran immigrant Alirio Gámez claimed sanctuary from deportation by entering a north Austin church.

On Wednesday, Gámez will step out of the First Unitarian Universalist Church for the first time to ask for a deportation stay. Faith leaders and members of the Austin Sanctuary Network will then lead a caravan from Austin to San Antonio to file a stay of removal application and meet with ICE officials.

'We are telling ICE to respect my right to safety,' Gámez said in a press release. 'We are going to show ICE our strength in unity, and we expect to have a victory in our hands."' Read more about Caravan supports immigrant seeking church sanctuary in Austin

Dec 5, 2017
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North Austin Patch

Advocates Call On Deportation Halt For Austin Asylum Seeker

"Dozens of immigrant advocates will gather on Wednesday in a rally calling for a stop on deportation proceedings against an asylum seeker taking sanctuary at an Austin church for the past few months.

The gathering is designed as a show of solidarity for Alirio Gámez, who has taken sanctuary inside the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Ave., to avoid his deportation. An asylum seeker from El Salvador, Gámez was denied asylum in the United States after being in three detention centers and now faces deportation to certain harm in his country of origin, advocates said.

... 'We are going to demand that Alirio stay in the country and be granted a stay of removal,' added Alejandro Caceres, immigration organizer with Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based immigrant advocacy group. 'We have built a network that supports him and is enriched by him. Because of this, we also believe that ICE has no authority to come into our city and deport anyone from our community.'" Read more about Advocates Call On Deportation Halt For Austin Asylum Seeker

Press conference in Austin and caravan to San Antonio planned to stop deportation of asylum seeker from Sanctuary

WHAT: Press Conference and Rally to #LetAlirioStay
WHO: Alirio Gámez, Rev. Chris Jimmerson of First Unitarian Universalist Church, Sulma Franco and Peggy Morton of Austin Sanctuary Network, and supporters from Austin and San Antonio

PRESS CONFERENCE IN AUSTIN: Wednesday, December 6 at 8:30 AM
First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756 Read more about Press conference in Austin and caravan to San Antonio planned to stop deportation of asylum seeker from Sanctuary

One month campaign update for Alirio Gámez in Sanctuary in Austin

"Me siento muy contento y agradecido por toda la gente que me está apoyando mucho. Sinceramente les digo que no puedo regresar a mi país, porque el momento que regreso, estoy en riesgo de perder mi vida. Esta petición de nuestra campaña es importante para parar mi deportación." - Alirio Gámez, Oct. 3, 2017

Read more about One month campaign update for Alirio Gámez in Sanctuary in Austin>
Sep 8, 2017
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Texas Observer

Salvadoran Man Seeks ‘Sanctuary’ from Deportation in Austin Church

Austin's Sanctuary leader Alirio was featured in Texas Observer with Grassroots staff member Alejandro Caceres. "Rather than submit to Trump’s deportation machine, Alirio Gámez went to church. On Tuesday, the 40-year-old Salvadoran announced to a group of faith leaders, elected officials and activists that he had decided to live inside Austin’s First Unitarian Universalist Church until his pending expulsion is halted. [...] For Gámez, the Austin Sanctuary Network plans to recruit elected officials to the cause and pressure ICE’s San Antonio field office through calls, petitions and personal visits, according to organizer Alejandro Caceres. Asked whether he thought they’d succeed, Gámez merely replied: 'We’re gonna fight.'" Read more about Salvadoran Man Seeks ‘Sanctuary’ from Deportation in Austin Church

Sep 5, 2017
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Fox 7 Austin

Man Takes Sanctuary in Local Congregation to Avoid Deportation

Alirio Gámez, a man from El Salvador who has been living in Austin, has taken sanctuary in a local church to avoid deportation. The Austin Sanctuary Netowkr, a multi-faith coalition of congregations in and around Austin, held a press conference to show solidarity with Gámez in his fight to stay safely in the community. Gámez was forced to leave El Salvador due to violence, and remains in the United States seeking safety and to protect his life. "Both the Austin Sanctuary Network, and Gámez say they won't stop fighting until federal immigration authorities use their discretion to put a stop to deportation. Read more about Man Takes Sanctuary in Local Congregation to Avoid Deportation"

Grassroots Welcomes Elizabeth Welliver

Grassroots Leadership is glad to welcome Elizabeth Welliver to its Austin staff. Elizabeth joins Grassroots as the fifth Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) to serve with the immigration team since 2012. The Young Adult Volunteer program with the Presbyterian Church (USA) offers the opportunity for young adults to serve for one year alongside local partners while practicing simple living, vocational discernment, intentional Christian community, cross-cultural mission, and leadership development. Read more about Grassroots Welcomes Elizabeth Welliver

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