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How unjust immigration policies devastate families in the U.S.

Photo: AFSC

From June 16-18, 2015, members of the faith community and activists across the country will take part in a nationwide fast to end deportation.

To learn more about how current U.S. immigration policies affect families, read the stories below of Arturo Hernandez Garciar and Rosa Robles Loreto—two community members claiming sanctuary away from their families for nearly a year.

Arturo Hernandez Garcia, Denver

Arturo is a loving husband, father of two children and small business owner who has lived in the United States for 16 years. His home is in Colorado with his family, where he can fulfill his dream of seeing both his daughters off to college one day. Mariana, is a 16-year-old DACA recipient, and Andrea, a 9-year-old U.S. citizen.

Arturo’s small business employs about nine people annually, and he also contributes to a Bible study in the Catholic Church as well as service projects. In 2010, Arturo was arrested by local police on false accusations, but was proven innocent by a jury. Unfortunately, even though he was acquitted, he was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and deportation proceedings continued. ICE continues to deny Arturo’s appeals for discretion, saying that the suffering of his family is not reason enough to stop his deportation.

On October 21, 2014, Arturo claimed sanctuary at the First Unitarian Society of Denver. Read more.

Rosa Robles Loreto

Rosa has two beautiful boys, a loving husband, and has lived in Tucson since 1999. She is an active member of the community, volunteers at her church, her sons’ school, and their baseball teams.

But she was ordered to be deported after a minor traffic violation. Like millions of other undocumented immigrants in the United States, Rosa's case is considered low-priority for ICE—she has no criminal history, is a caretaker for minors, and has long-standing community ties.

But she was in detention for 53 days and fought her immigration case through the courts to no avail. Rosa continues to hold onto the hope she and her boys will be able to return to their life, even after 10 months of living in sanctuary. Read more.

Undocumented father finds sanctuary in Denver church to fight deportation to Mexico

Arturo Hernández García is an undocumented immigrant and father of two. Since October, García has sought sanctuary at the church as he fights his deportation.