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Local immigrant rights leader takes sanctuary in Carbondale

Oct 24, 2017

Sandra Lopez (right) and Rev. Shawna Foster (left) of Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist

Silt resident Sandra Lopez – a mother of three and an immigrant rights leader – is taking sanctuary with a Carbondale church. She's one of five people in the state trying to avoid deportation by living in a church or temple. This makes Colorado the state with the most people seeking sanctuary in a place of worship in order to avoid deportation.

Lopez  is first in the Roaring Fork Valley to publicly seek protection from immigration officials.


She and her two-year-old daughter will live in the basement of the Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist church’s parsonage.

She doesn’t know when she will be able to leave, but claimed seeking sanctuary gives her the best chance to stay in the US.

She was reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after an arrest in 2010, although her charges were dropped, and she was granted a stay of removal. ICE recently rescinded the stay, meaning she can now be deported.

Even though she’s in sanctuary, ICE can still arrest her, although the agency is known to avoid sensitive areas like churches and schools.