Press Release –
DECEMBER 19, 2017
Contact: Rev. Kelly Dignan, 303-257-5449 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ingrid Encalada Latorre Welcomed as Sanctuary Guest at Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder.
Ms. Encalada Latorre was in Sanctuary in Fort Collins, a significant distance from her family, creating hardship for all of them. The distance has affected her 9 year old son Bryant the most. For this reason she has relocated to the Unitarian Universalists Church of Boulder. The congregation welcomed her during both worship services on Sunday, December 17, 2017.
Rev. Kelly Dignan opened the press conference with a prayer. Quoting Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she said, “‘We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ There is no ‘us and them.’ Only ‘us.’ As we breathe together, feel that connection – to each other and the Spirit of Life. We feel the struggle of one another and the strength that comes from the connection that we create here today.”
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder has been a member of the Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition since its inception. Recently, it has helped start a “chapter” called the Boulder Louisville Lafayette Sanctuary Coalition; more than eleven congregations supporting the Sanctuary movement in Boulder County. The Coalition has been working with Ingrid since August of 2016 to look for a solution that would allow her to remain in community with her family instead of being returned to Peru. We continue to believe her family belongs together and that the US is the safest and healthiest place for her two citizen children.
Ingrid has spent almost half her life in the US, residing her for more than 18 years now. She has two citizen children (2 year old Anibal and 9 year old Bryant).
In 2003, someone sold Ingrid documentation so she could work to support herself. The documentation belonged to someone else, but Ingrid was not aware of that fact. She used the document only to obtain work, and this resulted in an eventual felony charge. Her legal representation at the time encouraged her to plead guilty and told her that it would not affect her immigration status. We believe she received ineffective counsel at that time which has affected her negatively and unfairly. In 2015, she completed all probation and paid all back taxes. In 2016, she was given deportation orders which she has been fighting ever since. Ms. Encalada Latorre has the support of 22 elected officials in Colorado, over 100 clergy, and thousands of signatures across the country.
As a religious institution, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder is offering Sanctuary as a religious practice done within the confines of Federal “Sensitive Locations” Policy. It is a key part of our religious exercise. When Sanctuary is offered, there is no intent to hide a person’s whereabouts. We are open and honest with the authorities regarding our activities and intentions and the fact that we feel we are performing our religious duty. For these reasons, it is a lawful act that offers courageous love to a vulnerable population in our country.
As Unitarian Universalists, we have a vision of a world fueled by love – not hatred, division or fear. Deportations are tearing families apart and creating trauma in our communities. If we are not working to solve the problem of hatred, we are part of the problem. The good news is that Congress can fix this problem. They have the power to do so, but they have not. In the meantime, we will continue to do our religious duty.
You may visit the church’s website for more information about how to support the Sanctuary effort. http://uuchurchofboulder.org/justice/sanctuary/