Jaime Rubio Sulficio owns a construction company in Seattle, cares for his wife who has epilepsy and has a six-year-old son. He is also living in the United States without legal authorization.
The only time he has ever been involved with the legal system was when he was detained nine years ago for entering the U.S. without proper authorizations (a misdemeanor) after he had returned to Mexico briefly to be with his sick mother.
In order to avoid deportation, Sulficio has taken refuge at Seattle’s St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. St Mark’s is part of a sanctuary network that has formed in response to the broadened deportation priorities of the current federal administration.
Sulficio is the second person claiming sanctuary in downtown Seattle. According to Michael Ramos, executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. Jose Robles, has been living for nine months at Gethsemane Lutheran Church. Eleven local places of worship have pledged support.
Until last November, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had granted Sulficio temporary stays on a deportation order under a policy that allowed immigrants to stay if their departure would create a hardship for their families. Sulficio’s wife and son are U.S. citizens
In a prepared statement, ICE spokeswoman Tanya Roman wrote; “Sanctuary policies not only provide a refuge for illegal aliens, but they also shield criminal aliens who prey on people in their own and other communities.”
Sulficio is working with his lawyers to seek a legal remedy that would allow him to stay with his family and operate his business while he seeks sanctuary at St Mark’s Cathedral.
In a release from the cathedral, they wrote;
The Dean of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, The Very Rev. Steven Thomason shares the cathedral’s decision to accept Jaime into Sanctuary: “From our faith teachings, we are instructed to care for our neighbors as ourselves and to offer hospitality and kindness to people in need. Such as is the case for Jaime. We will stand with Jaime and his family until he is granted the opportunity to return home and restart his construction business.”
Michael Ramos of the Church Council of Greater Seattle noted, “Local faith communities applaud Saint Mark’s Cathedral for providing Sanctuary to Mr. Rubio Sulficio. His courageous step to stop the process of being torn from his family sheds light on the unjust practice of deporting hundreds of thousands of people annually with deep roots in the U.S. and who pose no threat to society. Sanctuary gives a human face to these hard-working, socially-contributing and family-oriented immigrants who belong here.”
In welcoming Mr. Rubio Sulficio into Sanctuary and providing support for his family, Saint Mark’s recognizes them as part of the congregation’s family. They are children of God, deserving of dignity and respect, to be honored for preserving the integrity of their family as a life-affirming, profoundly sacred act. The Church Council of Greater Seattle extends the solidarity of its “For Such a Time as This” network congregations, 150-strong. The Church Council recognizes the loving hospitality of this cathedral, in partnership with justice-seeking organizations, toward protecting family unity and proclaiming in word and deed that what is required of us is “to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8).
image: Saint Mark’s Cathedral congregation welcomes Jaime Rubio Sulficio – father, husband, and community leader – into its Sanctuary while he seeks a legal remedy that would allow for a stay of deportation to Mexico and allow for the reuniting of his family. (from Facebook)