In the Hive

Sanctuary families hope Biden administration will lift threat of deportation


Today on “In the Hive,” a conversation about sanctuary and immigration policy under the Biden administration.

Since January of 2018, Vicky Chavez and her two daughters have been living inside of The First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City. Chavez, who came to the U.S. from Honduras in 2014, requested asylum in the United States citing violence in her native country and the abusive relationship she was fleeing.

After U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rejected her request, Chavez sought protection within the Utah church, and she’s been under its roof ever since. As a general practice, ICE avoids enforcement in places of worship, which are considered sensitive sites. The protection isn’t iron-clad though: the agency says it will enter such locations in “limited circumstances.”

Chavez and her daughters are among the roughly 50 immigrant families around the country sheltered by churches from deportation. Now, as a collective, those in sanctuary are asking the Biden administration to grant them a stay of removal, to lift deportation orders, and to include a pathway to citizenship in immigration policies.

Rev. Monica Dobbins, First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City

Vicky Chavez
Rosa Sabido
Juana Luz Tobar Ortega
Lucio Pérez
Alirio Gamez
Irida Kakhtiranova

In the Hive
From local politics, to arts and culture, to history, the environment and beyond, “In the Hive” explores the issues and ideas that tie Utah together. Produced by KCPW Studios
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