BOULDER, Colo. — Gov. Jared Polis announced commutations for three people and pardons for five others on Monday.
Ingrid Encalada LaTorre was among those granted clemency.
The undocumented Peruvian immigrant was convicted of a felony in 2010 for using a false Social Security number.
She has spent years living in sanctuary in churches throughout the Denver-Boulder area in an effort to avoid deportation.
Most recently, LaTorre was staying at Unitarian Universalist Church in Boulder.
Polis’ pardon erases LaTorre’s felony from her record.
“You are a dedicated and caring mother to your three children. You are working to educate others on legal ways to obtain employment and the consequences of using false documents,” Polis said.
While the pardon will not change her immigration status, it allows her deportation order to be automatically reopened, giving LaTorre a new chance to get legal residency in the United States.
The mother of three spoke at a press conference Monday afternoon at the Boulder church.
“All I’ve wanted is to go home and be with my family, to be with my children. And now we’ve made it. We’ve triumphed and now I can be with them,” she said.
Her pardon was denied by former Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2017, who said:
“The crime that Ms. Encalada LaTorre committed was not victimless,” adding that clemency would be “a step backward in the fight for smart, compassionate, and comprehensive immigration reform.”
LaTorre said she learned from her mistakes.
“I have paid fines and done time, and paid all that restitution. So I’m hoping for resident status through my attorneys’ work,” she said.
LaTorre plans to remain at the Boulder church while her attorneys work on her deportation case.
“I want to get all my t’s crossed and m i’s dotted and make sure that I follow the process correctly,” she said.
LaTorre said she is looking forward to a new life.
“To be free, to have my resident card, to have a normal life — which is really everything that I’ve been wanting and hoping for. And I really think this is going to open more doors for me.”