Rosa Ortez Cruz leaves sanctuary
Welcome news for a North Carolina mother
In April 2018, Rosa Ortez Cruz took sanctuary at the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill, also the meeting site of the Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship. A mother of four children, Rosa came to the U.S. from Honduras in 2002, fleeing extreme domestic violence and fearing that her abuser would hurt or kill her.
"I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be far from my children, but I have no choice, because going back to Honduras is not an option," Rosa said at the time.
In March 2020, after nearly two years in sanctuary, Rosa received the news she and her family had been waiting for: The order for her deportation had been withdrawn by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. She would be free to return to live with her children in Greensboro.
“I wanted to leave running to go find my children,” Rosa told one news station. “It just seemed like an impossibility that I’d finally be reunited with them.”
Court withdraws deportation order for Honduras woman living in Chapel Hill sanctuary
In March 2020, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decided to withdraw the deportation order for Rosa, who has lived in sanctuary at a church in Chapel Hill for almost two years.