Woman taking sanctuary in Philly church has deportation order overturned

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 Angela Navarro and her children, 9 and 11, at the West Kensington Ministry. Both children are U.S. Citizens. Navarro's deportation order has been overturned(Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Angela Navarro and her children, 9 and 11, at the West Kensington Ministry. Both children are U.S. Citizens. Navarro's deportation order has been overturned(Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

A woman taking sanctuary from deportation in the West Kensington Ministry has won her court case against Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

After living in the church for nearly two months, Angela Navarro plans to publicly step outside Saturday during a community event initially planned to protest her final deportation order.

“I feel completely different. I feel extremely happy. I’m finally free. I feel the opposite of how I felt when I entered,” Navarro told WHYY through a translator.

Last year, Navarro vowed not to leave until she won the same legal status as her husband and American-born children. Now, she says she’s excited to take steps toward getting that legal status.

“It’s been my dream and it’s the dream of everybody who comes to the United States. Even more so when I thought that this would never be possible, so I’m so thankful to God and all of the people who supported me to get here,” she said.

Originally from Honduras, Navarro has been challenging her final deportation order for 11 years.

Along the way, she’s received support from some high-profile local lawmakers including Congressman Bob Brady, State Senator Christine Tartaglione, and eleven members of Philadelphia City Council.

According to the sanctuary, she has also received 200 letters of support from religious clergy and 6,100 signatures on a public petition.

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