CRLN gathered on May 23, 2019 with advocates and faith communities in support of Pastor Betty Rendon and her husband, Carlos Hincapie outside of ICE’s Chicago office two weeks after Pastor Betty, Carlos, a relative, and their daughter, Paula Hincapie were swept up by ICE agents at gunpoint in their Chicago home. Requests for a stay of removal were made by the couple’s attorney, and public light dawned on the case of Paula’s denied protected status by ICE, as the intent was to arrest and deport her until public light was brought upon the case.

Paula is a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and her 5 year old daughter, Layla, witnessed the traumatizing home raid. While Paula and Layla are reunited, Layla “cries for her grandparents, wondering when they are coming home,” said Paula. They remain in ICE detention at Pulaski County Jail in southern Illinois. Attorneys from the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) through the City of Chicago’s Legal Protection Fund represent the couple.

Emmaus Evangelical Lutheran Church in Racine, Wisconsin, where Betty is a student pastor, has facilitated requesting the halt of their deportation to Colombia and release from detention through a petition which already has over 113,000 signatures, and over 65 organizations have submitted letters in support.

Points were made by Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, and Reverend Paul Erickson, Bishop of Greater Milwaukee Synod, ELCA. The militaristic style operations attacking Dreamers, a Pastor, and a family call upon people of all faiths to unite and protect people from the perpetual campaign of terror and family separation. The plans to arrest and detain families across major US cities are, as Erickson pointed out, a disappointment “that our government would choose to use their powers in a way that sows fear and tears families apart. We are calling on our leaders to adhere to a higher law, one that respects the right of individuals to flee from violence and honors the dignity of each person.”

The United Nation’s World Refugee Day landing on June 20th has been called a national day of action by Voces de la Frontera, the Racine Interfaith Coalition and Lutheran religious leaders to again gather for a national vigil outside of ICE’s Chicago office. CRLN asks all of its members to join us on June 20th at 11AM in front of the Chicago ICE office at 101 W. Congress St.


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