WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan — The woman seeking asylum from deportation inside of a Washington Heights church received more help with her case Monday afternoon.
Elected officials — including Congressman Adriano Espaillat and City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez — delivered letters of support on behalf of Amanda Morales-Guerrera to Federal immigration authorities.
"We're requesting a stay for a year and then we're putting in a request to re-open her case," her attorney Geoff Kagan Trenchard told PIX11 News.
As advocates work on her behalf, Morales-Guerrera remains inside the Holyrood church with her three children.
She says she wants nothing more than to stay here in New York with her children. All of her kids were born in America.
The 33-year-old mother moved to the United States 13 years ago without authorization and faces deportation back to her native Guatemala. Morales-Guerrera says violence in her home country makes it unsafe for her to return.
A spokeswoman for the U. S. immigration and Customs Enforcement released this statement:
"Amanda Morales Guerra, a national and citizen of Guatemala, was encountered by Border Patrol in Falcon Heights, Texas March 9, 2004, and was released on her own recognizance. In July 2004, Morales Guerra was issued a final order of removal. She was arrested by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers in October 2012, and in an exercise of discretion, was released on an order of supervision to allow her to remain free from custody while finalizing travel arrangements to return to Guatemala. On August 17, 2017, Guerra was supposed to report to ICE, but she did not report as required. She is now considered an ICE fugitive."