Doug Bedell — July 31, 2019, 4:31 pm

Immigrants Seeking Sanctuary in Churches Can’t Avoid Exposure to Huge Fines


Something about our times is wrong when immigrants seeking sanctuary in churches cand be “hit with huge fines,” as In Homeland Security reports.

Maria Chavalan-Sut, from Guatemala, “has spent 10 months staving off a deportation order to a country that she says has scarred her life with violence, trauma and discrimination. Her fight for asylum could now cost her at least $214,132.”

“Chavalan-Sut began living at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church on Sept. 30, the day she was told to report to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office for deportation. She crossed the border into the U.S. and was detained in November 2016 near Laredo, Texas, after a weekslong journey that started in Guatemala’s capital. She said her decision to emigrate and leave her four children behind came after her house was set ablaze.

“Chavalan-Sut, 44, doesn’t know who set the fire while she, her children and their father were asleep inside. But she believes it was linked to a dispute over land rights because she is an indigenous woman, her immigration attorney, Alina Kilpatrick, said.”

This, along with others, are tales we regret exist to be passed along, but they do. Read the full account of Chavalan-Sut’s travail in this Associated Press report.

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