Markey Expected To Meet With Immigrant Who Found Sanctuary In Amherst Church

Jan 27, 2018

Lucio Perez ( in red jacket) was surrounded by members of the clergy in front of the First Congregational Church of Amherst which has given sanctuary to the undocumented immigrant since Oct. 19, 2017.
Credit WAMC

A case championed by immigrant rights activists in western Massachusetts will get more attention Sunday. 

Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Senator Ed Markey is planning to meet privately with Lucio Perez, according to Rose Bookbinder of the Pioneer Valley Workers Center.

The undocumented immigrant has taken refuge at the First Congregational Church of Amherst rather than return to Guatemala, the country he fled 20 years ago, and leave behind his wife and three children in Springfield.

" We are really hopeful that this visit could have a huge impact on Lucio's case and put pressure on ICE to release him," said Bookbinder.

Perez, whose case is pending before the Board of Immigration Appeals, has not left the church property since he arrived there on October 19, 2017.