The National Sanctuary Collective – Colectivo Santuario – plans to hold a news conference Wednesday to deliver a petition asking former Vice President Joe Biden to free residents living in sanctuary churches if he is elected president.
Sanctuary Collective leaders plan deliver to the petition to the Biden campaign in a Zoom event broadcast live on the group’s Facebook page at 11 a.m. MST.
The National Sanctuary Collective is made up of immigrants, churches and allies across the United States. According to a news release, more than 5,201 people, including 43 elected officials, convention delegates and candidates have signed a letter echoing its demands.
Vicky Chavez, who has been living in sanctuary at the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City since 2018, said:
“Today I am sending you this letter of support to ask candidate Joe Biden: Do you commit to supporting us? If you are elected, do you promise not to forget us? Do you commit to freeing us? To be able to live with our families without fear of deportation,” the news release said.
In Southwest Colorado, Rosa Sabido has lived in sanctuary at the Mancos United Methodist Church since June 2017.
Sabido, a Mexican national, took sanctuary after her application for a one-year stay of removal was denied by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The former church secretary has lived in Montezuma County for 32 years after moving to the U.S. with her mother.
Sabido has reached out to legislators this year in the hope they will introduce a private immigration bill in Congress that would grant her residency status. From there she could continue the application process toward citizenship.
In February, supporters delivered a petition organized by Rosa Belongs Here and signed by 2,750 people to Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, asking him to introduce a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would provide a legal path for Sabido to stay in the country.
Tipton’s office declined the request. Since then, he was defeated by challenger Lauren Boebert in the Republican primary election.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet met with Rosa Sabido in Mancos in July.
The National Sanctuary Collective leaders ask that Biden commit to the following actions:
On his first day in office, grant a stay of removal to each person living in sanctuary.Lift the deportation orders against Sanctuary leaders within the first 100 days in office.Sign into law all private bills on behalf of people living in sanctuary that Congress sends to his desk.