Lives of anxiety: Immigrants seek sanctuary in US churches

NEW YORK (AP) — An immigrant from Guatemala has been living in a New York City church for two months to avoid being deported back to her homeland.

Amanda Morales is a mother of three whose children are U.S. citizens. She says she cannot go back to her country and does not want to leave her kids.

Her situation is not unique. At least two dozen immigrants have sought sanctuary at U.S. churches since the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency stepped up arrests by 40 percent under President Donald Trump.

Morales has been living at the Holyrood Episcopal Church in Manhattan since August. She took refuge there shortly after immigration authorities ordered her deported. She sees her kids off to school from the church entrance but is afraid to venture onto the sidewalk.