Ingrid Encalada Latorre granted stay of deportation in immigration case after years of refuge in Boulder church

For the first time in four years, Ingrid Encalada Latorre will be able to go to the park with her three children, walk the aisles of the grocery store or take a hike and admire the mountain views.

Encalada Latorre, originally from Peru, lives in the sanctuary of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder with her three children born in the United States since 2017. If she left the church, at 5001 Pennsylvania Ave., she was in danger of being detained. by immigration and customs officials.

This month, after several refusals of applications, Encalada Latorre was granted a one-year deportation stay effective November 1. This allows her to live her life outside the walls of the church, without fear of being detained. She will spend this time working to reopen her immigration case – and, she said, venturing out with friends.

A crowd of around 50 gathered outside the church to hear the announcement on Friday.

“I am very, very excited and very happy that my community is here to support me in everything I do, especially with this great victory today of the approval of this stay of withdrawal,” Encalada Latorre told the crowd.

His lawyer, Diana Solares, translated the words of Encalada Latorre from the Spanish. Before taking refuge in the church in Boulder, Encalada Latorre had lived in a refuge in a church in Fort Collins and in a church in Denver for about six months previously.

Ingrid Encalada Latorre, right, hugs Gabriela Flora, program director for the American Friends Service Committee, outside Boulder Unitarian Universalist Church in Boulder on Friday. (Cliff Grassmick / Personal Photographer)

“It’s been four years, four long years now,” said Encalada Latorre. “It was not an easy decision to bring my family to my side to live here in the church for the second time.

While at the sanctuary of Boulder Church, the daughter of Encalada Latorre, who is now 2 years old, was born. She also has two sons aged 6 and 13. Her oldest child, Bryant, walked over to the microphones on Friday to address the crowd and television cameras.

“It’s one of my favorite days,” he said. “I can go with my mom and enjoy life. “

While the timing was a cause for celebration, Encalada Latorre and those who spoke on Friday said there was still a battle ahead, not just for her, but for the more than 11 million other immigrants caught. in limbo.

Gabriela Flora, program director for the American Friends Service Committee, which helped Encalada Latorre enter a sanctuary, implored state and national leaders to take action to create a better path to citizenship.

“Ingrid taught us not to give up,” said Flora. “You are fighting for what is right and just, that it is love that can overcome injustice and determination. Her fight was not just about her and her family. She is doing it because there is more. 11 million people who need access to papers now Congress can do it, if it acts now.

On behalf of the office of U.S. Representative Joe Neguse, Erika Blum, a representative of the office, read a statement that also highlighted the work ahead. Neguse introduced private bills on behalf of Encalada Latorre and sent letters to ICE and the Department of Homeland Security asking for a stay of his dismissal.

“Now Ingrid will finally be free to live her life, attend the children’s school events and performances, go to the doctor and live in her own home with her beloved children,” says the communicated. “I am honored to be in this fight with you, Ingrid. We continue to work in Congress to fix our faulty immigration system. “

Reverend Dana Lightsey of the Unitarian Universalist Church called the suspension of removal a fresh start.

“It’s an amazing time,” said Lightsey. “It’s also a time for all of us to think about what it would mean for us not to have that kind of freedom to move around to have our own lives and how the immigration system is doing to countless other people. and destroys lives. “

ICE officials previously told the camera that Encalada Latorre entered the country illegally near Brownsville, Texas in 2002. Latorre, however, said she arrived in the United States in 2000.

While the ICE can make arrests of people threatened with deportation at any time, its agents avoid sensitive places like churches, hospitals and schools.

Encalada Latorre spoke about her No Mas Chuecos campaign on Friday and said she was the victim of buying a social security card on the black market. While she was planning on buying a fake, the card was actually stolen. His campaign advocates and provides education for immigrants to find a legal way to get a job.

In December 2019, Governor Jared Polis pardoned Latorre’s felony conviction for identity theft, which opened the door to legal residence for him.

Encalada Latorre said she will continue to live in the church for the time being. She said the stay of deportation was not accompanied by a work permit, which can take up to 10 months to obtain.

Celebrating the development with applause, cheers and hugs, Encalada Latorre finally had some breathing space.

“It’s a huge relief to be able to leave the church now without having to worry about being detained or deported by ICE or those stalking me on the streets,” said Encalada Latorre. “Just a huge, huge relief.”

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