Facing deportation, a father takes sanctuary in a Maplewood church
When the letter from immigration officials came in the mail in September, Carly Garcia knew her life was about to change.
Panicked, she opened the envelope then called her husband, Alex, and told him to rush home.
In the past, immigration agents had given Alex Garcia temporary permission to live in the United States with Carly and their five children. But now, the letter said, he had two weeks to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office for deportation.
From their home in Poplar Bluff, in southeast Missouri, Carly Garcia made a frantic call to an attorney, who put her in touch with immigration activists. They told her Alex had two options.
He could do as immigration officials had ordered and report to an ICE office to be jailed and sent back to the Honduran countryside he left nearly two decades ago. Or he could seek sanctuary in a church.