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Discussion: A community rallies to keep Alex Garcia safe from deportation

Alex Garcia jokes with his 3-year-old daughter, AriannaLee, while sitting with kids before the start of a church service.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Alex Garcia's wife and children visit him at Christ Church UCC on the weekends.

Alex Garcia has lived in Poplar Bluff, Missouri for 15 years. In the past, he received permission to remain in the U.S. even though he entered the country without authorization. But in September, Immigration and Customs Enforcement ordered him to report to its St. Louis sub-field office for deportation.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed Garcia’s case and why Christ Church UCC in Maplewood opened its doors to be a sanctuary – allowing Garcia to stay in a makeshift apartment as he hopefully awaits a stay of removal so that he can remain in the U.S legally.

Related: St. Louis Public Radio photojournalist Carolina Hidalgo’s report on what the ICE order means for Garcia and his family.

Carolina Hidalgo joined the program alongside Sara John, executive director of the St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America, who is organizing an effort to keep Alex Garcia in the U.S. Nicole Cortés, a lawyer with the MICA Project, Carly Garcia, Alex Garcia’s wife, and the Rev. Rebecca Turner, pastor of Christ Church UCC, also joined the conversation.

During the program, a listener asked how people can support the Garcia family, which is struggling financially without Alex Garcia’s income. Sara John said petitions and donations can be signed and made at Christ Church UCCin Maplewood. Those who want to support the local sanctuary coalition can donate to the St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America.

Listen to the full discussion:

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.