Edith Espinal Heads Home After Three Years in Sanctuary
After three years in sanctuary, Edith Espinal’s application for stay of removal has been granted.
The stay of removal prevents the Department of Homeland Security from acting on their deportation orders, however Espinal’s case is not over, said Espinal’s attorney Lizbeth Mateo. Espinal was granted an order of supervision and will have to check in with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regularly.
Espinal sought sanctuary at Columbus Mennonite Church in 2017 after her request for asylum was denied under the Trump administration. She has applied for a stay of removal before, which was denied. The decision to grant Espinal’s latest stay of removal application follows the Biden administration’s decision to pause deportations for some non-citizens for 100 days.
Espinal shared high hopes for other cases like hers, and other undocumented immigrants in general.
“I hope this can open the door for [other] people living in sanctuary,” she said at an ICE office in Westerville on Thursday, to a group of supporters waiting to hear the news.
Mateo said they are going to continue to pressure the Biden administration to “do the right thing” and finally dismiss Espinal’s order of deportation, so that she doesn’t have to live in fear, regardless of who is in charge at DHS or the White House.
“We are still going to have to fight to make sure that she can finally have her freedom, her full freedom back,” she said. “It’s a first step…but it’s not the permanent solution that we need.”
For more information, visit facebook.com/SolidarityWithEdithEspinal.