Saturday, December 8, 2007


Pablito in Sanctuary Pablito is staying in the Parsonage of our church, UCC Simi Valley, with his mother, Liliana. Pablito, his two siblings and father are American Citizens, but Liliana is not. Her family legally immigrated to the US when Liliana was still in high school. She stayed in Mexico to finish her education with her friends, and when she tried to immigrate to the US to be with her family, she found, because she was now an adult, that she could not do so legally without a US employment sponsor. Her family arranged for her to be smuggled across the border to be reunited with them, but she was caught with a falsified birth certificate. She was able to cross undetected at a later date. After settling here in Ventura County, she met the man, Gerardo, she later married and started a family with. Gerardo works two jobs and this family was able to purchase a house in Oxnard. Over the years she has repeatedly tried to gain legal status, but because of that mistake that she made when she was 18, she is "permanently barred" from gaining legal status.

Not long after Liliana gave birth to Pablito, ICE came to her door one morning to detain and arrest her. When they realized that she had an infant, they gave her five days to arrange for his care and report to be deported. This episode was the latest in a series of instances where the person who is charged with enforcing US Immigration Law became familiar with what they were doing and used what ever discretion they had and backed down. Instead reporting for deportation, she entered into "sanctuary" in a Long Beach church where she stayed for two months before moving to UCC Simi Valley where she will remain until a final disposition of her case is made.

I've become committed to engaging in quiet witness and civil disobedience in being part of this "New Sanctuary Movement" We need sane, fair and moral reform to our immigration laws. America is stronger if this child, and his brother and sister, grow up with their mother and father.

Please join me.

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