sanctuary

Alex Garcia's Latest Hope to Block Deportation? A 'Private Bill' From U.S. Rep Clay

“An act of Congress could spring Alex Garcia from the Maplewood church where he has spent nearly eighteen months locked in a stalemate with immigration agents — but odds aren't high of even that working. “

Doyle Murphy, Riverfront Times, 12 March 2019.

Congress could help reunite father, immigrant with Poplar Bluff family

“"You will get your bill." That's what the Garcia family said Congressman Lacy Clay told them last week when he visited them at Christ Church United Church of Christ in Maplewood.”

Abby Llorico, KSDK Newschannel 5, 12 March 2019.

Clay urges ICE to temporarily drop plans to deport man living in Maplewood sanctuary

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay is calling on federal immigration officials to approve a stay of removal for Alex Garcia, who took sanctuary in a Maplewood church nearly 10 months ago.


“Anyone who meets Alex Garcia and his wife would be immediately moved by their courage, their dignity and their determination to keep their family together,” Clay said in a statement. “Deportation would do nothing to protect America. But it would destroy a family.”

Carolina Hidalgo, St. Louis Public Radio. 12 July 2018.

Clay calls on ICE to stay a deportation order against immigrant living in a Maplewood church

“Alex is a family man, is not a danger to the community and should be reunited with his U.S. citizen wife and five U.S. citizen children,” Clay, D-St. Louis, wrote in a letter to Ricardo A. Wong, director of the Chicago office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

“We’re fishing,” Clay said in May. “We are fishing to figure out a way to get this young man reunited with his family by any means necessary.” He told Garcia during his 30-minute visit that the congressman’s office would be in touch with ICE and Clay promised Garcia he would return to the church one day to watch Garcia walk out a free man.

Doug Moore, St. Louis Post Dispatch. 10 July 2018.

Clay calls on ICE to stay a deportation order against immigrant living in a Maplewood church

“Alex is a family man, is not a danger to the community and should be reunited with his U.S. citizen wife and five U.S. citizen children,” Clay, D-St. Louis, wrote in a letter to Ricardo A. Wong, director of the Chicago office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

“We’re fishing,” Clay said in May. “We are fishing to figure out a way to get this young man reunited with his family by any means necessary.” He told Garcia during his 30-minute visit that the congressman’s office would be in touch with ICE and Clay promised Garcia he would return to the church one day to watch Garcia walk out a free man.

Doug Moore, St. Louis Post Dispatch. 10 July 2018.

Kirkwood Church Vows to Take in Undocumented Immigrants in Sanctuary

Following the lead of Christ Church UCC, a church in Kirkwood has voted to open its doors to undocumented immigrants refusing orders to leave the country. Eliot Unitarian Chapel (100 South Taylor Avenue, Kirkwood) announced yesterday that it would defy the federal government and become a sanctuary church.

“Our congregation stands with undocumented people in protesting the immoral laws and practices that tear families apart. Eliot Chapel is prepared to shelter an undocumented person or family vulnerable to deportation if we are approached to do so. We encourage other faith communities to join us,” the Rev. Barbara Gadon, Eliot Chapel’s lead minister, said in a prepared statement.

Sarah Fenske, Riverfront Times, 6 June 2018.

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay Visits Alex Garcia, Immigrant Claiming Sanctuary

“This process begins with ICE,” Clay says, “and making an appeal to them to take another look at this case to realize that Alex has been a model citizen and has supported his family and is loved by his community.”

Though uncertain of what exact procedure will follow, Clay, who supports immigration reform, vows he will be there the day Garcia gets to walk out of Christ Church as a free man.

Camille Respess, Riverfront Times, 29 May 2018.

Congressman visits Honduran immigrant seeking refuge from deportation

Clay said his office would be in touch with ICE. He promised Garcia he would return to the church one day to watch Garcia walk out a free man.

“Alex has been a model citizen, loved by his community, and there are people all over Missouri saying this about him,” Clay said. “I’m certain the voters of my district would feel the same way.”

Mike Faulk, St. Louis Post Dispatch. 25 May 2018.

Alex Garcia Is Still in Sanctuary, Defying ICE, as Support Grows

Thank you, Riverfront Times reporter Doyle Murphy for helping us share the #truth of the #injustice facing Alex Garcia, Carly Garcia, their family, and countless other immigrant and mixed status families. Thank you to the Poplar Bluff, Missouri community who spent time with Doyle and shared their perspectives and continue to support Alex and his family.

We will not stand idly by as ICE destroys our communities and shatters our values. We will not wait patiently as Congress makes more excuses, picks petty battles, and fails to do their job. We've had more than enough.

#Sanctuary4All #SantuarioParaTodos #Not1More #HereToStay #dignity #dignidad #AlexBelongsHere #LoveThyNeighbor

Doyle Murphy, Riverfront Times. 14 February 2018.

Fighting Deportation, Missouri Resident Seeks Sanctuary in Church

“Last Thursday, September 21, Garcia was supposed to report to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in St. Louis for deportation. Instead, he is taking sanctuary at a church somewhere in the region — and his lawyer attempted to file an additional request for a stay of removal even as supporters rallied outside the Robert A. Young Federal Building. The new request included a petition with nearly 800 signatures.”

Katie Hayes, Riverfront Times. 25 September 2017.

Missouri church welcomes father of five young U.S. citizens into sanctuary

A United Church of Christ congregation in Missouri is supporting a father of five young U.S. citizens in his battle to stay in this country to raise them to adulthood. Christ Church UCC in Maplewood, Mo. welcomed Alex Garcia into sanctuary during worship on Sunday, Oct. 22 and will shelter him until Immigration and Customs Enforcement "does the right thing" and issues him a stay of removal.

"As a person who believes in justice, as a clergy person who believes very strongly that when a neighbor says I need help, our responsibility is to say yes, I will do that," said Christ Church pastor the Rev. Rebecca Turner. "I felt we really had no choice."

Connie Larkman, United Church of Christ News. 24 October 2017.

Man living in Poplar Bluff takes sanctuary in St. Louis area to avoid deportation

"It's not easy for me," said Garcia. "To think to think of my children when I talk to them and they ask me why I don't come home."

Alex Garcia considers Poplar Bluff, Mo. to be his home. He's lived there for 13 years. It's where his wife and children live.

"We don't know how long it will last," Said Carly Garcia, Alex's wife. "Hopefully not long at all, my children want him home, I want him home."

Hank Cavagnaro, KFVS 12. 24 October 2017.

Poplar Bluff, MO man takes sanctuary to stop his deportation to Honduras

“A man from Honduras but living in Poplar Bluff, Missouri is fighting to stay in the Heartland.

The St. Louis Sanctuary Coalition, area organizations, along with faith leaders and advocates, gathered with Alex Garcia as he entered sanctuary in an attempt to stay with his family in the U.S.”

Joshua Murray and Hank Cavagnaro, KFVS 12. 21 September 2017.