Woman Moves To Church, Hoping To Avoid Deportation To Mexico

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A woman trying to avoid being deported to Mexico and separated from her U.S.-citizen children has moved into an Ohio church offering her sanctuary in a symbolic gesture.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 39-year-old Edith Espinal and the Columbus Mennonite Church hope U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will honor guidance issued during Barack Obama’s presidency that recommended against making arrests at sensitive sites such as churches.

Espinal took refuge Tuesday and skipped a check-in where she anticipated being detained.

The newspaper says ICE didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Lawyer and church member Joseph Mas says the congregation understands it could be accused of breaking federal law about aiding illegal immigration.

Espinal has lived in Columbus for years and has no criminal record. Two of her three children are U.S. citizens.