Tempe church takes in man facing deportation

TEMPE, AZ - A Tempe church is offering sanctuary to an undocumented immigrant who is in immediate risk of deportation.
 
Luis Lopez came to the United States from Guatemala when he was 16 years old to escape gang violence. 
 
He now has a wife who has legal status in the country and two children. He is the sole breadwinner for the family. One of his two children has autism.
 
He will live at the University Presbyterian Church in Tempe until he is granted a stay of deportation. 
 
"I'm sad to be away from my family," he said. "But it is the only way to feel safe."
 
Lopez was already denied a stay of deportation twice and is considered a "low priority."
 
Reverend Eric Ledermann addressed the church along with other faith leaders calling on the President to stop breaking up families and reform policies.
 
A representative from the Phoenix Restoration Project, who is also involved in helping the family, tells ABC15 there is nothing legally stopping immigration from removing Lopez from the church but they feel it would be highly unlikely.
 
We reached out to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials to comment on the case. The local spokesperson tells us they will research the case and the issue. They have not been able to provide a comment about this case or cases like this at this time.
 

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