Family of five, fighting deportation, gets major help in Germantown

Justin Udo
December 13, 2018 - 7:04 pm

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

Categories: 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A family’s fight to stay in the United States reaches an important milestone and brings a big change to their living situation.

If Carmela Hernandez and her four children leave sanctuary shelter they risk being deported to their home country of Mexico.

She says, back home, she's had family members killed by gangs that terrorize them.

“Unfortunately, I cannot return to my country,” she said. “My daughter and I were both beaten and threatened.”

For the last year the Hernandez family has lived at the Church of the Advocate, in North Philadelphia.

“It's not easy to be living in sanctuary,” she said.

READ: Pa. battles opioid overdose by giving away thousands of NARCAN kits

But on Thursday, as the family observed their one year in sanctuary, they officially moved their residence to the Germantown Mennonite Church.

“As Christians the first question we always ask is, ‘What would Jesus do?’ in this situation,” said John Bergen, the associate pastor at the Germantown Mennonite Church. “We believe deeply, and firmly Jesus calls us to welcome people who are seeking safety.”

“We are committed to the struggle as long as necessary, until the campaign is won,” he went on to say.

Carmela says she's thankful that so many people in Philadelphia have rallied to her cause as she tries to get Immigration Customs Enforcement to resend their deportation order.

“It's difficult, but I still have strength to continue this struggle,” she adds.

___