Protected by a Church Nearly a Year, Colorado Woman Helps Draft a “People’s Resolution”


It’s been nearly a year since Rosa Sabido packed up nearly three decades of her life, hugged her ailing mother goodbye, and moved into the sanctuary of a Colorado church and into a life of uncertainty.

On the rare occasion the 54-year-old dares to think about a future beyond the walls of Mancos United Methodist Church where she’s lived since June 2, she envisions herself back in her own little blue house in nearby Cortez, Colorado, next door to her parents, caring for them and her beloved pets.

When it’s all over, she said, “I’d like to go back home and be a normal person and be free, take care of my parents and be with my dogs, so they know I didn’t abandon them.” Her voice breaks. “That’s really the extent of the future I can dream of. Sometimes I don’t feel I can dream for a future at all. I feel I’m not allowed to plan.”

Lately, however, Sabido has been finding new reason to hope. She and three other women, mothers who have also taken sanctuary in churches across Colorado, are working on a statewide resolution, a people’s resolution, to address the specific gaps in immigration law that led each to where she is now.

With help from their sanctuary coalitions, the four hope to collect endorsements from 10,000 Coloradans; local and state elected officials, including the governor; and faith and business leaders. They plan to deliver the signatures to the nine-member Colorado congressional delegation.

While they may not be able to move the needle on an issue Congress has failed to fix, there’s opportunity for the lawmakers — including four Democrats and five Republicans — to lead. Colorado is home to a number of immigrant advocacy groups with a strong history of fighting for immigrant rights. Like many of its biggest cities, it is a sanctuary state and one of only a few states where those without legal documents can still obtain driver’s licenses.

Jennifer Piper, the interfaith organizing director with American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrants Rights Program…

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