Man from El Salvador taking refuge in Austin church to avoid deportation

A man from El Salvador is taking refuge in an Austin church to avoid deportation. (Photo: CBS Austin)

An Austin church is rallying around an El Salvador man at risk of deportation.

Alirio Gamez escaped his country in fear of his life, he has taken sanctuary at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Austin since September.

Wednesday morning, a caravan of his supporters traveled to San Antonio to file a “Stay of Removal” with ICE.

The document aims to prevent Gamez’s deportation by proving that he has made ties to the community and is not a threat.

"We are telling ICE to respect my right to safety. On Wednesday, we are going to show ICE our strength in unity and we expect to have a victory in our hands," Alirio said.

A petition to stop his deportation now has more than 2,000 signatures.The Austin Sanctuary Network, Grassroots Leadership, and state and city lawmakers have also advocated on his behalf.

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