Local News

After 3 years in sanctuary, Biden's policy allows Raleigh man to go home

Posted January 21, 2021 2:04 p.m. EST
Updated January 23, 2021 4:20 p.m. EST

— A Raleigh man who has spent more than three years living in sanctuary at a Durham church will head home to Raleigh on Friday.

In 2017, Jose Chicas was told by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement that he had to leave the country. Chicas said he believed ICE's stance was linked to his convictions for impaired driving and domestic violence over 20 years ago.

Instead of leaving, Chicas sought sanctuary at a church in Onslow Street. ICE policy is not to arrest people on church property.

"I cannot go outside in the streets. I just stay over here in the parking lot or the house or go a little bit outside and come back inside again," he said. "[If] ICE see me in the street, he can catch me. I don’t want to go back to my country," he told WRAL in an interview in 2017.

Now, Chicas will be able to go home to his wife and kids after the Biden administration halted deportations for 100 days.

He said that when he heads home on Friday he will see the world with a fresh set of eyes.

"When I go from here, oh I see the world different," he described.

Chicas also knows the first thing that he'll do when he arrives at his home in Raleigh.

"I'm a pastor. I give the glory to my God," he said.

Chicas said he looks forward to getting back to his congregation in Raleigh.

He added that he's not worried about what happens after the 100 days because he feels that Biden values immigrants and will put new polices in place.

"In another 100 days, Biden, he do something good," said Chicas.

The church, St. John's Missionary Baptist Church, is holding a send-off for Chicas on Friday. Chicas said he'll miss the wonderful people there but he will be coming back to visit.

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