WASHINGTON — The Obama administration provided a two-year deportation deferment Thursday to a Honduran mother who has been living in a Philadelphia church.
Angela Navarro, who moved into the church to avoid a looming deportation order, is one of a handful of undocumented immigrants who have taken sanctuary in churches across the country.
According to the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, the Department of Homeland Security granted Navarro's request for a deferment Thursday and will provide her a temporary social security card and work papers. Navarro can also now begin the process of applying for citizenship, according to the group.
Navarro's case drew significant local attention, including support from Democratic Rep. Bob Brady. In a statement, Brady hailed the decision.
"I am pleased that Angela is able to return to her family. She has been a productive, law abiding resident of Philadelphia and deserves to continue to contribute to our city and our country. I was glad to work on her case and I am overjoyed that there has been a positive outcome," Brady said.
Church organizations in Philadelphia, Oregon, Arizona and other states have begun taking in undocumented immigrants who are living under the threat of deportation as part of a broader effort to highlight what they see as an uneven application of administrative deferments by the Obama administration.
John Stanton is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New Orleans. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
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