The walls of the church are the only thing between Amanda Morales and the deportation.


The walls of the church are the only thing between Amanda Morales and the deportation.

Members of the holylutheran church, Amanda Morales, attended the Spanish speakers’ meeting every Sunday at noon. “Amanda is the force of our community,” said pastor Louis barrios. “many of the mothers were deported and separated from their children. “We bless Amanda with our hands and soul.” (Cinthya Santos Briones)

Brisk Ø N in early December evening, Amanda Mr Morales’s eldest daughter is perched on a bunk bed upper Manhattan a huge edge of the century-old gothic revival in the church. She was only ten years old, round and shy, and was writing her life story.

“There was a time when there was a girl named durse. She had a mother who was going to be deported. “fifth graders stopped writing in the script. “Because of Mr. Trump,” she added.

Toure, briefly put the family laptops to donate a few hours, from her sister danielle (Daniela) to retrieve a toy ball, then handed it back to around dulcie squirming in tears little brother David. The small room, technically a church library, is littered with children’s clothes and toys.

“Get ready for a shower! Darsi’s mother Amanda called in Spanish. She sat in the next room, and Rosalba, a congregation in the church, chatted about the new coffee bags their friends had brought before. Amanda almost always entertained visitors at this time, most of them dominicans, who stopped to spend time with her company after work.

Daniela put her brother David’s plush horse on the bed in the child’s bed, and her sister, durth, jumped out of the bathroom. The 103-year-old church library has been converted into a home bedroom since August. (Cinthya santos Briones)

In order to listen to her mother, she was addicted to her story, and she kept typing. “So on August 17th,” she continued, “my mother was going to the courthouse in New York City. But she did not go, because she would be sent to Guatemala. So she decided to go to church. ”

“It’s bath time! “Amanda yelled again. Rosalba went into the bedroom to shake David. He broke into a shrill cackle. After a difficult time, everyone was in a good mood: Amanda was the only one on Thanksgiving, and her children were visiting their father on long island. The girls clumsily drove a new school; Amanda’s immigration case lacks progress; Everyone was tired of being in church for months, and there was no end. A few hours later, after the children were asleep, Amanda admitted, “my life is hard. I’m not sure I can do that. ”

But at this time, the church feels less like a prison, more like a sanctuary. Outside, there was a crisp, deep autumn bite in the air, but it was comfortable in it and hissing in the air. Eight-year-old Daniela massages her mother with a shoulder massage on the back of Amanda’s back. David crawled into Amanda’s lap, copied his sister, and started rubbing his mother’s face. Telenovela la Tierra Prometida (” Promised Land “) is shown on small TV.

“Oh, if every night like that,” Amanda sighed and threw her head back. “I’m not so nervous.”

After the massage, Amanda squirmed into a pair of darcy stretch jeans and poses for her daughter. Showers can wait.

Since Amanda Morales (Amanda Morales) and her three children to leave their home in long island, I already have more than five months in Washington heights in Lutheran Church (Holyrood Church). The move came a few days after Amanda learned that she would be deported to Guatemala. When she and her children to put their clothes, toys and pet fish wrapped up, they get help new reserve league in New York City, New York City is a network of religious beliefs, help immigrants resist detention and deportation. The union searched a church where a family could live. They bought sleeping bags and other essentials. They linked Amanda to the lawyer, who filed a recall request and asked to open a asylum (both were rejected and are now appealing).

This is a powerful effort, driven by intense energy and necessity. But in the end, on a sweltering summer afternoon, Amanda and her children gathered in the church shelters, before the cameras and microphones – activists hope can help to protect her from immigration agents, and became the first publicly to take refuge in New York City for decades measures to avoid deportation.

“I did it for my kids,” Amanda said, and all three of her children were born here. “I can’t leave them. I can’t part with them. ”

Temple movement history can be traced back to the 1980 s, when the church to avoid in el Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras u.s.-funded death squads of 500000 refugees provides shelter. As congress failed to pass its promised immigration reform, ICE began to accelerate its expulsion, raising it at the last stage of George Bush’s administration. Organization assumption, whether in the initial period or renewal movement in the 1980 s, the federal government would not to arrest people – this theory in a church in 2011 official push, immigration and customs enforcement agency is called ICE, this is a policy that can often avoid the immigration detention in a place of worship, and specify it as “sensitive points”.

Now, a year into his presidency, the temple movement is growing rapidly. At least 36 people in more than two dozen cities across the United States are in shelters, or they have made public decisions. Many dozens (or even hundreds, if not all) have quietly sought the safety of the national church. Some, like Amanda is trying to avoid being deported to Central America countries, led by the United States launched the war on drugs is with American war funding levels of violence in the 1980 s.

But with the growth of the holy movement, the trump administration has escalated its crackdown. In January, Jean Montrevil, a co-founder of New York’s new reserve alliance, was arrested and deported to Haiti. The group’s executive director, Ravi Ragbir, was detained yesterday, only to be released after the judge’s ruling. In Colorado, ICE has detained a husband of Ingrid Encalada Latorre, the head of immigration for the sanctuary, which is to avoid deportation.

“ICE is attacking us at the local and national level,” Encalada Latorre said in a recent conference call with the media.

In the church of the holyrood church, daniela and dulce balance on the temple bars. “I love this church, but I miss our house,” said dulce. “There, we had a big chicken farm, and in the summer my mother set up a plastic pool.” (Cinthya Santos Briones)

At the same time, the temple church is said to be under surveillance by federal agents, and ICE has begun holding people in other “sensitive locations” designated by the government, such as schools. On Jan. 25, New Jersey, immigration has arrested two Indonesian men, because their daughter to school, and New Jersey, another man fled ICE agents, fled to the shelter.

On the day the husband of ravi lagerbill and ingrid enkarada latoury was detained, Amanda was watching the news, thinking, “what’s going to happen?

For Amanda, the threat of detentions and evictions is outside the old walls of the episcopal church for 103 years. But the church was also her refuge, and the place where she fought to protect herself and her family was quietly unfolding. Every day, Amanda must overcome the anxiety, sadness, and panic caused by her uncertain future and the long and indefinite confinement of her family. Every day, Amanda and her children, as well as the congregation and neighbors of the church, must create a small sanctuary in an increasingly xenophobic and violent country.

Ø N shelter their first night, Amanda and the kids are on the floor of the library of the church in sleep together. Amanda’s eldest daughter, durse, began to cry. The old building was so large and terrible that she missed her family and her father, and then stayed to work.

In the next couple of days and weeks, Amanda and many members change space, installation of the double bed, and promote the library books – the pentagon papers, Malcolm X at the end of the speech to the highest shelves to make room for family property. Volunteers use tea and cereal, water and a string of bananas, a bag of freshly picked red delicious apples and two lonely Ko, a seemingly alien cabbage, that stores nearby kitchens. A neighborhood group organized a system to provide hot meals every afternoon: tilapia and baked potatoes; Rice and stewed beans and roast beef; Roast chicken and cooked carrots and hard-boiled eggs. A woman in el Salvador began painting Amanda’s nails. An elderly jewish woman washed clothes. The neighbors offered Amanda free massages and reiki. Visited church groups once sang for her.

A congregation recalls, Amanda once in the weekly bible study meeting comments that all her life to the other – now, all at once a generous, returned to her side.

At night, Amanda often sits at the kitchen table, sitting with a few women in her neighborhood. They watched the Dominican TV presenter Francesca, Carl (Francisca Lachapel) comedy sketch, sharing recipes and health tips, and talk about the latest news, the church the details of life within and outside the earthquake event together: David last night fever, Amanda can’t fall asleep again; The 10-year-old girl arrested at a border patrol in the Texas hospital has been released. Yellow roses decorate the table. Daniela and Dulce spread on the sandy wooden floor, until recently, covered in dirty old carpets, painting or painting or building an exploding volcano by mixing vinegar, baking soda and food coloring.


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