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Sanctuary for Mexican immigrant in Seattle cathedral

05 April 2019


Jaime Rubio Sulficio

Jaime Rubio Sulficio

ST MARK’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle, is providing sanctuary to a Mexican man who has been threatened with deportation, which could separate him from his wife and six-year-old son, who are both United States citizens.

The man, Jaime Rubio Sulficio, was admitted to the cathedral last week, the Episcopal News Service reported. He and his family were welcomed by the cathedral congregation at last Sunday’s services.

The Dean, the Very Revd Steven Thomason, said: “The church gave them a standing ovation of over a minute yesterday as a sign of encouragement and support. It took great courage for them to become public in all of this, but they’re convinced that it’s the right thing to do. And this church is convinced it’s the right thing to do.”

Mr Rubio Sulficio said: “I am so grateful for the support of the community. This is not just about me and my family: this is about the more than 11 million people facing injustice in the United States trying to find a humane solution for their immigration status.”

President Trump’s administration has introduced anti-immigration policies. In a press release, St Mark’s Cathedral said that 50 people were seeking sanctuary with congregations across the country.

Dean Thomason said: “We absolutely are outraged by the current policies and actions of our government that is separating families.” It was “immoral”, he said, and “runs against all of this nation’s values, and certainly is counter to our [baptismal] covenantal value of respecting the dignity of every human being”.

A policy adviser with the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations, Lacy Broemel, said: “Since President Trump’s 2017 executive order that largely removed prosecutorial discretion, we have seen an increase in deportations of immigrants who are not a threat to their communities, and, in fact, are critical members of their communities, and have families and longstanding ties to their employers and faith groups.

“This policy has had a real and painful effect on family units and individuals. A solution is to advance comprehensive immigration reform so these individuals have a chance to come forward and earn a pathway to citizenship.”

This week, President Trump threatened to close the border between the US and Mexico if the flow of asylum-seekers was not stopped.

On Tuesday, he said: “Sure, it’s going to have a negative impact on the economy, but security is most important.”

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