CHICAGO (CBS) — Facing a deportation order, Adilene Marquina and her family are taking asylum in a Chicago Lawn church for the foreseeable future, because she fears threats from Mexican drug cartels.
Marquina is a mother of three, and pregnant with a baby due in July. She fled from Mexico to the U.S. in 2015, seeking permanent asylum, because her family was tortured for not paying money Mexican cartels had demanded to keep her business open.
“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,” said her friend, Jessica, who translated for her. “She’s not looking to take away anything from nobody here. She just wants better for her family and her kids.”
However, her request was denied, and she is now being tracked by an ankle monitor. She was supposed to turn herself into authorities with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement by Thursday, but her attorney has filed a letter giving federal officials notice she is refusing deportation.
Marquina’s attorney has said she won’t go back because of the danger her family faces in Mexico, so she has taken refuge at Faith, Hope and Life Mission in Chicago Lawn. She risks being arrested and deported if she steps outside the church.
Pastor Jose Landaverde said he’ll allow Marquina and her family to stay inside the church for as long as she needs.
“Her case represents thousands and thousands of cases around the country where the Department of Homeland Security – through Donald Trump laws – are separating and destroying families around the country,” he said.
Chicago is a sanctuary city, but it is not clear how or if that will impact what immigration officials do now that Marquina is taking refuge in the church.