Undocumented man taking sanctuary in Raleigh church

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An undocumented man is taking sanctuary at Umstead Park United Church of Christ in Raleigh. (WTVD)

An undocumented man is taking sanctuary at Umstead Park United Church of Christ in Raleigh.

Eliseo Jimenez arrived at the church Monday night, with his wife and two young children at his side, said Senior Minister Rev. Douglas Long.

An ICE policy largely prohibits enforcement actions at sensitive locations such as churches or schools.

Just last week, Minerva Cisneros Garcia left the Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro after seeking sanctuary there for four months. Her deportation order was vacated.

Rev. Long said the congregation voted overwhelmingly, 94 percent, to take in a family. He said other churches in the area are volunteering so there will always be somebody with Jimenez to help him feel safe.

"We want to support them as long as there is any positive possibility of them winning a stay of their deportation," Long said. "That could be weeks, it could be months, it could potentially be years. We want to support them as long as need be."

Jimenez has four children who are U.S. citizens. He was pulled over and arrested for driving without a license. Then, ordered to be deported, according to Alerta Migratoria NC, who said in a news release that supporters of Jimenez are asking ICE stay his deportation.

"ICE removed illegally present Mexican national Elisio Jiminez-Madrigales from the United States in Sept. 2007 after he was ordered removed by a federal immigration judge," said Southern Region Communications Director for the U.S. ICE, Bryan Cox in a statement. "Mr. Jimenez subsequently illegally reentered the United States following deportation, which is a federal felony, and while illegally back in the country he went on to plead guilty to criminal charges in Greensboro, North Carolina, in June 2014. ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation's immigration laws."
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