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.

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.