Roses mark 100 days of sanctuary for woman in Tucson church

Roses mark 100 days of sanctuary for woman in Tucson church

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Before Rosa Robles Loreto would spend her hundredth night of sanctuary in a Tucson church, supporters presented her with 100 roses Saturday morning.

"It's nice, very beautiful," she said. "I feel blessed for what's happening."

There weren't enough roses for everyone attending at Southside Presbyterian Church. Reverend Alison Harrington said organizers were overwhelmed by the show of support.

"From the beginning we knew that sanctuary wasn't just about housing Rosa within the protection of these walls, but the way in which the community was going to wrap around her and shelter her with their love and their protection," said Harrington. "And we have certainly seen this to be true on the first day and now on the 100th day as well."

Robles Loreto, who's lived in the U.S. for more than a decade, first turned to the church for sanctuary this summer. She's been ordered for deportation but Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have said she will not be pursued. Her request for a stay of removal was rejected, but Robles Loreto has appealed for another chance at more time in this country.

She said Saturday's show of support will stick with her as she continues to stay in the church. Robles Loreto said her fight is tough on not just her, but her husband and their children.

"It's tough for them, but they know that we will spend Christmas and Thanksgiving here as a family," she said. "My son tells me in this little room, we're together."

Keeping families united is the reason why the church offers sanctuary to undocumented immigrants, according to Harrington. One hundred days into this particular case, and supporters are keeping the faith.

"A hundred days in sanctuary doesn't mean sanctuary is failing," said Harrington. "It means we haven't got the answer we want yet, but we have kept Rosa's family together for 100 days."

Saturday's crowd said it's calling on President Obama for executive action that will provide people like Robles Loreto with a way to stay in the United States.

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