Instead, the Fredericksburg, Virginia, resident has been granted sanctuary at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, in Bethesda. Guiterrez Lopez’s three children, ages 11, 9 and 6, were all born in the United States. Her youngest child has special needs.
The church held a welcoming ceremony Wednesday, where supporters encouraged her to continue her legal battle to stay in the U.S. “The reason I took sanctuary is because I love my children and do not want to leave my country,” Gutierrez Lopez said, through an interpreter. “I want to fight from here.”
Her children are staying with her pastor in Fredericksburg, but will be able to visit her in the Bethesda church, where she will live in a small apartment.