DENVER – Supporters of a Mexican man in the custody of federal authorities demonstrated at a courthouse on Monday as a detention hearing was scheduled to take place.
They marched in silence and prayer. Following the scriptures, they conducted what they called a “Jericho walk” in hopes of bringing the ‘walls of detention tumbling down’, they said.
Their signs urged freedom for 30-year-old Eliseo Jurado Fernandez.
CBS4 first met his wife Ingrid Encalada LaTorre of Peru last year. She took sanctuary in a church to avoid deportation.
Ingrid Encalada Latorre (credit: CBS)
Jennifer Piper, a member of the American Friends Service Committee said, “She knew when she entered sanctuary that there could be repercussions… that the government could choose to come into the church after her or after Eliseo.”
Jennifer Piper (credit: CBS)
The Mexican native entered the country illegally when he was 14 years old. Now he was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement citing an earlier drunk driving arrest.
But demonstrators believe the sudden detention was to put pressure on his wife and the sanctuary movement.
CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Jeannette Vizguerra. (credit: CBS)
Among those on hand was Jeannette Vizguerra who avoided imminent deportation last year after Senator Michael Bennet took action on her behalf.
“We are here because we know that ICE has increased the tactics of intimidation and trying to target to silence our families,” she told the demonstrators through an interpreter.
Immigration authorities have indicated they learned about Jurado Fernandez through the plight of his wife. The couple has two children.
“Her two year old is very confused asking for papi,” said Piper.
Jurado Fernandez is to remain in custody until his next detention hearing in February.
His wife remains in a Boulder Church unwilling to leave out of fear she will be removed from the country.
CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting.