Denver churches fear reversal of sanctuary policy

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DENVER -- As another undocumented immigrant enters sanctuary inside a Denver church, religious leaders in the metro area are expressing fears President Donald Trump could change the policy protecting immigrants.

The Sensitive Location's Police was established in 2011 when the Obama administration was deporting a then-record number of people.

It defines churches, schools and hospitals as places where law enforcement actions should be limited.

Ingrid Encalada Latorre is one of five undocumented immigrants in the Denver area who has sought refuge under the policy.

She spent six months living inside the Mountain View Friends Meeting house.

"It was a very difficult decision because when you go into sanctuary, you're not sure if you're going to stay a couple days or months," Encalada said.

Eleven religious communities have become sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants in the Denver metro area, and nationwide, the number of sanctuary churches has doubled since Trump was elected, from around 400 to more than 800.

"We're trying to walk this thin line with the law. We don't think we're violating the law," said David Poundstone with Mountain View Friends Meeting.

But as the rhetoric over immigration heats up, Poundstone and others worry Trump will change the policy.

"We really need to call out to our government that the government is supposed to be protecting people from harm and fear and we're not going to solve any problem by being cruel to mothers and children," Poundstone said.