No Hay Fronteras en la Lucha de Los Obreros


Originally published in the Autumn 2019 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 60, printed October 28. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Autumn 2019 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For the full web catalog, see our Full Issues page.

Abbie Arevalo-Herrera, speaking at a Poor People’s Campaign meeting held at the First Unitarian Church of Richmond. Photo by Phil Wilayto.

Staff Report

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has rescinded a nearly $300,000 fine it had threatened to levy against Abbie Arevalo-Herrera, a Central American immigrant who has been living in the basement of the First Unitarian Church of Richmond since June of 2018. The fine was for violation of a deportation order.

ICE also withdrew fines for six other women living in churches across the country to avoid deportation, according to the National Sanctuary Collective. One of those women is Maria Chavalan Sut, an indigenous Guatemalan woman who came to this country in 2015 to seek asylum and who late last year took sanctuary at the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church of Charlottesville.

A notice sent to the women rescinding the fines stated that ICE reserves the right to reimpose the fines.

For more information on Abbie Arevalo-Herrera, including how you can help, see the Facebook page “Hands off Abbie.”

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