Dressed in blue and wearing yellow arm bands, the Denver Metro Sanctuary Coalition joined in a nationwide week of actions to demonstrate support for those facing potential detention and deportation.
The action was organized to show support for immigrants, refugees, Muslims and those at risk who have been threatened by President-Elect Donald Trump and who are at risk of violence – including physical violence – under a Donald Trump administration.
In downtown Denver, dozens marched along the 16th Street Mall in an event titled Sanctuary Rising Denver Action. The march encompassed a seven block radius symbolizing the seven weeks that Denver resident Ingrid Encalada Latorre has been in sanctuary.
Encalada Latorre, originally from near Cusco, Peru, has been in the US since 2000 at age 17. Her two children Bryant (8) and Anibal (12 months) are both US citizens.
Encalada Latorre spoke on a press call earlier this morning from Mountain View Friends Meeting, a faith group that is hosting Encalada Latorre as she fights her deportation case.
In December, Encalada Latorre participated in a reenactment of the Biblical story of Mary and Joseph seeking hospitality prior to the birth of baby Jesus. She was taken in by Mountain View Friends Meeting on November 28, 2016 in what is thought to be the second case of sanctuary actions taken to protect those at risk of deportation before their cases are heard. The first was of Arturo Hernandez Garcia in 2015 who was hosted by the First Unitarian Society of Denver. Hernandez Garcia later won his case and was able to return to his family in Denver.
Encalada Latorre has been awaiting a response from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since November 25, 2016 on her stay of deportation request. Complicating her deportation case is a Denver County Court case in which the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) says she was given incorrect legal advice by a legal representative substitute who was not familiar with her case. In that case the AFSC said she was advised to plead to felony criminal impersonation that would not affect her immigration status. When the conviction did affect her case and the community rallied around her, Denver County granted her a new hearing to review the conviction. The date of that case should be made known to Ecalada Latorre soon.
Eric Wright who participated in the 16th Street Mall action holding a sign that read, “KEEP INGRID HOME” told The Nation Report that he knows Ecalada Latorre personally, “I know Ingrid. I know her children. And I think that’s such an important part about our immigration policy. We shouldn’t be separating families. The government treats her like a criminal because she got bad legal advice and was caught up in a court system, but she really isn’t a threat to our country at all. She’s somebody that works in a positive way, has a family, and is contributing to our society.”