media credit: AFSC Ric Urrutia

Araceli Velasquez, fled El Salvador in 2010 in fear for her life, according to the American Friends Service Committee of Colorado. Since then, she has married and had three children with her husband, Jorge Velasquez. Her children are U.S. citizens.

Velasquez lost an asylum case but was granted a temporary reprieve from deportation. Immigration authorities have since indicated that they would not renew that protection, meaning she faces deportation.

The Velasquez family moved into the shared Sanctuary space provided by Park Hill United Methodist Church and Temple Micah on August 15th, 2017.

A religious sanctuary is not a legal protection against deportation agents, but immigration authorities have been hesitant to enter houses of worship.