SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been more than three years since Guatemalan immigrant Lucio Perez first took sanctuary at an Amherst Church to avoid deportation.
Now that President Joe Biden is in office, Perez and many others living in the sanctuary are hoping Biden’s administration will help them live free with their families.
“Now we have a new president who has chosen to give us an opportunity,” said Perez.
An opportunity that Guatemalan immigrant Lucio Perez and many others have been waiting years for. Perez has been seeking sanctuary for more than three years at the First Congregational Church in Amherst as a way to avoid deportation and being separated from his family.
Since President Biden has made immigration reform a priority since day one in office, Perez and many others all over the country have new hope. He and dozens taking sanctuary all over the country spoke virtually on Tuesday asking for freedom.
“Now, the president has the power to take us seriously. We just want for them to give us the freedom to be able to walk outside without fear and to enjoy our families more than anything,” said Perez.
President Biden’s plans for immigration reform includes stopping border wall construction, preserving the DACA program, and allowing undocumented individuals to apply for temporary legal status with the ability to apply for green cards.
Those on Tuesday’s call said they have yet to hear Biden speak specifically about those living in sanctuary. However, Perez and others in his situation hope Biden’s administration can provide the light at the end of the tunnel.
“We want to see the facts, we don’t want just false words because it has been truly difficult for us,” said Perez.
A total of 50 families across the country have members living in sanctuary.