Greensboro church opens its doors to Winston-Salem woman facing deportation

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- With only one day left to leave the country, a woman has decided to take sanctuary with her family at a church in Greensboro.

“I came to the sanctuary to be safe and for my kids to be safe,” Minerva Cisneros Garcia said.

Garcia says ICE told her last month that she needed to leave the country by June 30.

Garcia says she came to America from Mexico to seek safety and education for her blind son, named Eduardo. She says she was allowed to visit the US for six months, but then overstayed her welcome.  Garcia says she has lived here for 17 years and has no criminal record.

”I’m just asking and begging them to give an opportunity to stay here with my kids, to give an opportunity to my family,” Garcia said.

Garcia will stay at the Congregational United Church of Christ with her two youngest sons, both under the age of 7.

“We are told to love neighbors as we love ourselves, Minerva and her family are our neighbors,” said Rev. Julie Peeples, a pastor at the church.

Garcia’s two youngest sons were born US citizens. Her eldest son, Eduardo, is protected against deportation by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

”I need my mom, I need her still,” Eduardo Garcia said.

Minerva and Eduardo are asking ICE for some compassion so her family can have a better life with more opportunities.

“ICE and this leadership is telling the world with their actions and words that hard-working, contributing immigrants with deep roots into this country, regardless of their story should be watching over their shoulders,” said Laura Garduno, a community leader who spoke at Garcia’s announcement Thursday morning. “This approach strikes fear in the hearts of our community.”

Garcia is encouraging her supporters to reach out to ICE to ask them to grant her a stay.

FOX8 reached out to ICE to see if it wanted to comment on her possible deportation. We have yet to hear back.