Representatives from sanctuary churches and coalitions from across Colorado will meet in Mancos this weekend to show support for immigrants at risk of deportation.
According to a news release from Mancos United Methodist Church, a “sanctuary caravan” made up of advocates from Glenwood Springs, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Denver will arrive Friday to meet with church members and develop strategies to advocate for better immigration policies. The church, where Cortez resident Rosa Sabido has been in sanctuary since June, will host a public event on Saturday, with “music, poetry and a chance to learn more about the sanctuary movement,” the release said. The caravan is being organized by the American Friends Service Committee, a national Quaker organization.
Sabido is one of four people currently in sanctuary in Colorado, according to the American Friends website. The others are Araceli Velasquez, who is living at Park Hill United Methodist Church and Temple Micah in Denver; Elmer Peña, at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Colorado Springs; and Ingrid Encalada Latorre, who recently returned to sanctuary at Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins. Family members and supporters of all three will join the caravan in Mancos, along with Sabido’s family, the release from Joanie Trussel said.
The American Friends interfaith organizing director, Jennifer Piper, wrote in the release that the meetings in Mancos will focus on strategies for change at the national level.
“What’s happening in Washington, D.C., impacts families and communities in the West,” she wrote. “Colorado communities of faith offer sanctuary to support the prophetic witness of leaders like Rosa, who shine a light on the damaging impacts of our immigration system.”
In another news release from the American Friends, the Rev. Craig Paschal of Mancos United Methodist Church wrote that the caravan would provide an opportunity for local sanctuary supporters to “build relationships across the state” with other advocates.
“We want to continue to build beloved communities and embrace a narrative of love, compassion and inclusion,” he wrote. “The caravan is one step towards our dream of a better, stronger, more compassionate world.”
The sanctuary representatives will spend all weekend in Mancos, the release said, meeting with local leaders and advocates. The public event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Sabido came to the U.S. from Mexico in 1987 as a visitor to live with her stepfather, Manuel Sabido, who is a legal resident. She took a job as a housekeeper at the Days Inn hotel in Cortez, and later worked for several years each at the Ute Mountain Casino and H&R Block. According to a timeline provided in June by her immigration attorney, Jennifer Kain-Rios, Sabido made several trips to Mexico in the 1990s on a travel visa, and one of those trips lasted longer than 90 days. That broke the 10-year streak of continuous residency required by U.S. immigration law, disrupting one avenue she could have used to acquire permanent legal status. She applied for permanent residency in 2001, but her petition is still pending.