Seattle church offers sanctuary to man facing deportation

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle church is providing sanctuary to a construction company owner who came to the U.S. from Mexico illegally more than 12 years ago.

Jaime Rubio Sulficio was ordered to leave the country by March 28, but on Friday took sanctuary at Seattle’s St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. The move is intended to take advantage of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidelines to avoid arrests at “sensitive locations” like places of worship while he works with lawyers to seek a legal remedy to his immigration status.

Sulficio said the decision was not easy, but his wife and 6-year-old son are both US citizens and the family wanted to remain together.

Sulficio is the second immigrant to take sanctuary at a church in the region. Jose Robles, also a Mexican immigrant ordered deported, has been living for nine months at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in downtown Seattle.

ICE spokeswoman Tanya Roman declined to comment other than to say she thinks local governments should not adopt policies prohibiting cooperation with immigration enforcement efforts.