Sanctuary City: Durham Officials Lobby Congress To Not Deport Illegals Living There

DURHAM – Members of the Durham city council are directly lobbying Democratic congressmen that represent the district to sponsor bills that would offer special protections from deportations for two illegal immigrants taking sanctuary there. Although Reps. David Price (D-NC) and G.K. Butterfield declined to introduce the special legislation, citing it’s infinitesimal chances of passing, the claim to be ‘exhausting all options’ to help these two men avoid deportation, as dictated by law.

Predictably the reporting on this story follows a typical Leftist narrative dripping with virtue signaling and making the appeal for compassion on the issue of illegal immigration.

“In June, the Durham City Council unanimously passed a resolution that asked the Department of Homeland Security to give prosecutorial discretion to Chicas and Samuel Oliver-Bruno who are both living in sanctuary in houses of worship in Durham.

The resolution, led by Javiera Caballero, the city’s first Hispanic council member, urged U.S. Reps. David Price and G.K. Butterfield to introduce private immigration bills in Congress for the two men. Such bills, if they become law, can provide legal permanent residency.


A year away from his home and his family has been difficult, Chicas said.

Since he can’t leave the school, he can’t work. The family is behind on rent and the power bill. They’ve sold a car and advertise on Facebook for Chicas’s mobile car wash van, parked on the church’s property. Sometimes people call his cell phone to set up an appointment.

Chicas was the pastor at Iglesia Evangélica in Raleigh. In his absence, his wife now preaches most Sundays.

The publicity he’s received while living in sanctuary led to him preaching every Thursday afternoon on a radio station in El Salvador.”

To be clear, Chicas is relegated to the ‘prison-like’ confines of this church because he entered the country illegally and faces deportation. It is self-imposed to avoid the consequences of his decision, no matter whatever laudable intentions he may have had when violating U.S. immigration law.

Every week at on the grounds of the Old State Capitol building in Raleigh, there are groups of legal immigrants being naturalized, taking their oath, and becoming U.S. citizens by following the rules. Imagine jumping through all of the hoops to achieve legal status, let alone becoming an actual citizen, and then seeing municipal governments attempting to move mountains in order to give breaks to people that did none of it, and sneaked into the country illegally.

Durham’s city government is actively working to protect them from the law, pushing for special legislation specific to these two individuals. So what is a ‘private bill’ anyway?

“Unlike a public bill, which is based on public matters and relates to the entire population, a private bill applies to an individual, group of individuals, corporations or institutions.

Private immigration bills are usually reserved for people going through extreme hardship and are usually a last resort after exhausting all other legal action.

Advocates see the bills as an alert to lawmakers of flaws and inequities in current laws. ICE interprets them as “circumventing the normal immigration law framework,” according to the agency’s new policy on the bills.


In the past, introducing a private bill automatically delayed immigration proceedings, including removal orders. Policy changes under President Trump’s administration no longer automatically delay proceedings. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will only consider delays in removal orders if the chair of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives asks for it in writing. Delays are now limited to six months.”

The reporting goes on to mention that Chicas was INVITED to take sanctuary at his current location by Rev. William Barber of the NAACP so Chicas could avoid being deported. So the whole issue started by a giant activist of the Radical Left aiding the illegal immigrant to escape the law. Seriously.

But the Left are not the only ones that use these private bills to exempt select illegal immigrants from the law. Sen. Thom Tillis (RINO-NC) cosponsored a bill introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to offer special legal status to an individual in 2017. But even then, the individual in question, Liu Xia was a Chinese national and widow of a Nobel Peace Prize winner being persecuted by the Communist Chinese regime.

The compassionate media reporting for Chicas in Durham doesn’t even mention from whence he came, or under what circumstances. He could be a great guy, but the law is the law.

Technically the church is breaking the law, though ICE has a policy in which it mostly avoids entering churches, schools, or hospitals to detain people. The director could face five years in prison if the law were enforced as written.

In the recent past Republican state lawmakers have introduced legislation that would punish municipalities for implementing policies that could be construed as turning it into a ‘sanctuary city,’ but they’ve not been passed. The liberal enclaves of Asheville, Chapel Hill, Durham and others protested the proposals and were adamant that they did not have any sanctuary city policies. The actions of the Durham city council seem to indicate otherwise.

Read more here.

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