Defer or close the case of Beatriz Santiago Ramirez, a single mother of two U.S.-born infants and victim of aggravated criminal sexual assault, and take executive action for all families facing deportation across the country. Until then, Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Chicago will continue to provide sanctuary for Beatriz.
Why is this important?
Beatriz came to our church seeking sanctuary because she is facing deportation and is a mother of two U.S. Citizen children: Donato, who just turned 3 years old, and his 8-month-old sister, Iran. Beatriz is from Veracruz, Mexico and has been in deportation proceedings since 2010. She is fighting to keep her family here in Illinois, where they have created a home and are part of the community.
She is also a very special case because Beatriz was a victim of aggravated criminal sexual assault in 2009 and worked with law enforcement to testify and convict her rapist—which makes her eligible for a U-Visa. However, a paperwork technicality has prevented her from getting the relief she needs, and now she is in danger of immediate deportation.
Beatriz had no other options when she came to our door. Our church offered Sanctuary as an emergency action inspired by our deepest faith values. We will continue to provide Sanctuary to Beatriz and her children while we ask the Obama administration to close or put a stay on her deportation order until she can obtain legal status.
CAN WE HELP?
Yes. We can stand with Beatriz in her time of urgent need. Beatriz is a low-priority case, especially with two American-born children and the possibility of a U-Visa around the corner, which qualify her for ICE’s “prosecutorial discretion.” If we draw attention to her story and show she has a community that loves her, the Department of Homeland Security has the power to drop her case.
We are a church in the heart of a Mexican community in Chicago, and our work has always been “creating hope for those without hope, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
To be undocumented in this country is a fearful and heartbreaking situation under our broken immigration system. And in Beatriz’s case, to be undocumented and the victim of sexual assault is an even worse trauma. Beatriz’s bravery inspired our compassion and decision to welcome her into Sanctuary.
With over 52 congregations around the country supporting the Sanctuary Movement, we’re proud to join in the ranks of these faithful communities providing physical and spiritual relief to our undocumented brothers and sisters in need.
We ask that you join us in asking Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and the Obama administration to close or put a stay on Beatriz’s deportation order and encourage immediate action to declare a moratorium on deportations.