ST. LOUIS – Congresswoman Cori Bush has introduced a private bill that would grant residency to a man threatened with deportation and has been living in sanctuary at a local church.
Bush says America’s immigration system is “broken and inhumane,” so this bill aims to fight that.
Alex Garcia has been living at Christ Church UCC in Maplewood for over three years. Garcia first fled Honduras for the United States in 2002. During that attempt, he was detained and taken back to Honduras.
Garcia later fled again, crossed the border undetected, and ended up in Poplar Bluff, Missouri where he became a construction worker.
Garcia married his wife, Carly, and the two worked to make Garcia a legal citizen. They found out he was ineligible because of his prior deportation.
After living 11 years in the United States and building a family, The Trump administration denied his petition for a stay of removal in 2017. Garcia got a letter saying he had two weeks to appear before ICE for removal and deportation. His family was unlikely to ever see him again.
Christ Church in Maplewood allowed Garcia to take sanctuary there. It’s something his family and others are very thankful for, but Congresswoman Bush said it is time to take the next step.
Monday Bush introduced a private bill that would grant permeant residency to Garcia. Since 2007, only four private bills have been signed into law, but Bush says that doesn’t discourage her.
If the bill passes out of the subcommittee, Garcia will be granted a stay of removal before the bill becomes law.