Christian leaders and activists are demanding the release of a student pastor and her husband, who were recently arrested by immigration officials and face possible deportation.
The Rev. Betty Rendón, a pastor at Emaus Evangelical Lutheran Church in Racine, Wisconsin, was arrested earlier this month along with other members of her family in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid on her home.
Voces de La Frontera, a local human rights group, posted a petition online on Wednesday calling on supporters to demand that ICE not deport the pastor back to her native Colombia.
“It is urgent that [there] be a strong public outcry to achieve the release of Pastor Betty and her family,” stated the group.
“This family’s experience highlights the actual implementation of the Trump administration’s ‘shock-and-awe’ plan to arrest and detain thousands of parents and children in a targeted operation against families in major cities across the U.S.”
The Rev. Marcy Wieties, another pastor at Emaus ELCA, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that the congregation is working to raise money to support the family in various ways.
“The money collected is being used not only for legal fees, but also to assist Carlos and Betty’s daughter and granddaughter, who were living with them,” explained Wieties.
“In addition, we are collecting cards and notes for the family at the church. It was more logical to collect them and forward them as a bundle, as their location has changed and mail will not be forwarded from the previous detention center after any relocation.”
Wietes also told CP that the church and others “continue to advocate for their release and to pray for the family.”
Earlier this month, Emaus ELCA announced on their Facebook page that Pastor Rendón, along with her husband, her daughter Paula, and another relative were arrested by ICE on May 8.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski