Undocumented immigrant living in sanctuary granted stay of removal

DENVER -- An undocumented immigrant from Peru who has been living in sanctuary in a Denver church to avoid deportation has been granted a stay of removal.

Ingrid Encalada Latorre, 33, made the announcement Saturday afternoon. Her stay of removal is in effect until Aug. 7.

“We are human beings. We are your neighbors and friends living and working alongside citizens. I appreciate this opportunity to safely continue my legal case from my home. I will continue to organize until our full humanity, contributions and place in this country are recognized,” Latorre said.

The mother of two entered sanctuary in November at Mountain View Friends Meeting in Denver.

Latorre's children, who were born in the United States, joined her at Saturday's announcement. They have lived with her in sanctuary for the past six months.

Jeanette Vizguerra and Arturo Hernandez-Garcia also joined Latorre. Both previously lived in church sanctuary in Denver to avoid deportation, and were recently granted stays of removal as well.

Jennifer Piper of the American Friends Service Committee said Latorre's deportation began in 2010. She worked for many years at a nursing home to support herself and her son.

She was arrested at her job in April 2010. Piper said Latorre didn't understand the felony plea she agreed to take in the case.

She said her lawyer told her it would not affect her immigration case. She said she received poor legal advice.

"She claimed sanctuary in order to pursue her Fifth Amendment right to effective counsel on Nov. 28, 2016. Ingrid has found a new attorney who successfully argued her case at her first hearing on May 3, 2017," Piper said.

Her next hearing takes place in July.