After 843 Days Living in Sanctuary at Philadelphia Churches, Jamaican Couple Walks Free as ICE Drops Deportation Case

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Oneita and Clive Thompson on Monday rejoiced their freedom after spending more than two years, 843 days living in sanctuary in Philadelphia churches to avoid deportation.

What We Know:

  • The Jamaican couple stated they got a notice from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week that the agency will help their case to stay in the country, as reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • For two years, the Thompsons got national attention as one of many undocumented families seeking refuge in churches after President Donald Trump started in office.
  • Oneita stated she and her husband came to the U.S. in 2004 to escape gang violence. Federal officials rejected them for asylum, but they were permitted to work. In 2018, the Thompsons, who also have five children, got a notification to leave the country.


  • The New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, which is a faith-based immigrant advocacy group, helped the Thompsons to find them find refuge.
  • Oneita stated she and her husband spent a lot of time praying and fasting. Volunteers assisted in writing letters to federal and state officials soliciting support. “I’m just happy to know that I’m free,” Oneita stated, that she and her husband are thrilled to get back to their private residence.
  • Before the coronavirus pandemic came to the U.S., the Thompsons organized fundraisers where Oneita would prepare traditional Jamaican dishes, curry and jerk chicken, oxtails, rice, and peas to collect money to finance legal fees and the mortgage for the house they left behind in New Jersey.
  • “Today really was to celebrate and give thanks for such an amazing victory but also to shine a light on how hard it is for a lot of families. The threat of being deported and being separated from your family.”

The Tabernacle United Church has been part of the sanctuary movement since the 1980s. This is something to celebrate!

The post After 843 Days Living in Sanctuary at Philadelphia Churches, Jamaican Couple Walks Free as ICE Drops Deportation Case appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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todayDecember 23, 2020 10