CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago Lawn church will be home for 34-year-old Adilene Marquina and her family for the foreseeable future. If she steps foot outside the church beginning Thursday, the pregnant mother will be deported.
Marquina is hoping for an immigration reprieve. Until then the pregnant mother of three boys is being tracked via an ankle monitor. It’s been on her body since May 15, a month after the Mexico native lost her request for permanent asylum.
“She’s not looking to take away anything from nobody here. She just wants better for her family and her kids,” said her friend Jessica, who translated for her.
Marquina is seeking sanctuary in the church. Her attorney even filed a letter with United States officials giving them notice.
Marquina said she fled Mexico four years ago after the drug cartel demanded thousands of dollars in payments they couldn’t pay.
“They were threatening them, and they were hurting her family, and they cut one of her husband’s fingers off because they couldn’t afford to pay the quota to stay there,” Jessica said.
She said going back is not an option.
“If it is necessary she will stay here trying to get them to reopen her case because she doesn’t want to go into Mexico and see one of her kids get shot or be in danger,” Jessica said.
“It’s unjust. It’s unfair. It’s immoral,” said Pastor Jose Landaverde of Faith, Hope and Life Mission.
He said that is one reason providing her family a safe sanctuary was an easy choice.
“We are not afraid. We hope that they will respect a sanctuary,” he said.
Chicago is a sanctuary city, but it is not clear how or if that will impact what immigration officials do after Thursday.
Attempts to reach immigration officials for comment Wednesday night were unsuccessful.