Local News

'No hate, no fear:' Dozens march to NC state capitol in support of immigrants facing deportation

Posted January 27, 2018 6:43 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 9:56 a.m. EDT

— Dozens of people marched to the State Capitol Saturday morning to show their support for immigrants facing deportation.

The Students for Immigrant Rights at NC State organized the rally, calling on churches to offer sanctuary to immigrants.

Sandra Marquinas joined the gathering, representing her husband, Jose Chicas, a father of four. He faces deportation and is now confined to a church in Durham.

He fled El Salvador's civil war 33 years ago and has lived in the U.S. ever since.

He's one of five immigrants in North Carolina who have sought sanctuary at a church. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a policy not to arrest people at houses of worship.

"This is a man who's lived here for 33 years causing no harm to anybody, living his life, learning and loving," demonstrator Aaron Sanchez Guerra said.

The pastor of another Durham church, offering sanctuary to a Mexican immigrant, told those gathered to keep gathering to keep pushing for a change in immigration policy.

"He needs us to make public demonstrations so that people can see and hear, and I hope people are listening," Pastor Cleve May said.

Demonstrators said they see a national backlash against immigration.

"I believe as a person of faith, that we should be welcoming immigrants and being grateful to them," demonstrator Gail Phares said.

"I believe there has been a bitter taste on the tongue of American when talking about immigration," Guerra said.

Jose Chicas's wife said he spends every day reading the Bible.

She hopes North Carolina's two United States senators will intervene and allow him to remain in the country.