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Mancos Church Provides Sanctuary for Longtime Area Resident At Risk of Deportation

Austin Cope

A Cortez woman born in Mexico has taken sanctuary within the Mancos United Methodist Church while she seeks to avoid deportation. Rosa Sabido, whose stepfather is a naturalized U.S. citizen and whose mother is a lawful permanent resident, has been living in the church’s fellowship hall since June 2nd after her application for a seventh stay of removal was denied in May. Immigration authorities had approved her previous six applications, which are good for one year each. On Thursday, Sabido and members of the Methodist Church – who voted last winter to become a sanctuary church – held a press conference before an overflow audience. Pastor Craig Paschal said the issue is clear.

“This is about our community, our souls, what we believe in, and how we want to live,” he said.

Pascal said he has informed immigration officials of Sabido’s status. Sabido, who has been secretary of the Montelores Catholic Church for eight years but is now without income, said she will continue living in sanctuary and reapply for a stay of removal in August.

She said she wants to remain in the United States, where she has lived for 30 years, because her aging parents need her and it is home.

“I absolutely love this place,” Sabido said. “I love everything—the people, the blue skies, the birds in the morning…oh gosh,” she concluded, smiling to the audience.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
Austin Cope is a former Morning Edition host for KSJD and now produces work on a freelance basis for the station. He grew up in Cortez and hosted a show on KSJD when he was 10 years old. After graduating from Montezuma-Cortez High School in 2010, he lived in Belgium, Ohio, Spain, northern Wyoming, and Himachal Pradesh, India before returning to the Cortez area. He has a degree in Politics from Oberlin College in Ohio.
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