All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Colorado Springs is offering sanctuary for the second time, this time for a man who says the shutdown is putting his legal process in jeopardy.

Miguel Ramirez Valiente is a construction worker with no criminal history and is seeking sanctuary to keep his family together. Since 2011, Valiente has been working to get citizenship while his wife and children are already U.S. Citizens. 

While he has been married for nearly a decade, Valiente has only been worried about his legal status since he got pulled over in a traffic stop. 

According to Valiente, he recently missed a court appearance since he never received the summons in the mail. Valiente says there was a mistake and instead of making it into his mailbox the letter was returned to his attorney’s office. 

“I never received notification, I am being deported because of a problem with the mail,” said Valiente.

Now, during the shutdown, no progress can be made in the courts and he fears deportation. 

Rev. Dr. Nori Rost of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church and a member of the sanctuary coalition said that during the government shutdown it’s the right thing to do. 

“President Trump held a press conference claiming that there is a crisis at the border,” said Rev. Dr. Rost. “His demand to build a wall necessitated him shutting down the government in his attempts to bully Congress into capitulating his plan. ”   

“I’m honored,” said Rev. Rost. “To offer Miguel and his family something our government has not. Sanctuary, safety, room to breathe. Time to seek out very viable legal solutions to keep him in his community here in Colorado Springs.” 

Ramirez Valiente says he came to the U.S. illegally to escape gang violence in El Salvador.

“The gangs had taken over my house, it’s so dangerous I can’t even imagine returning there,” said Valiente, through Sierra Mann, his interpreter.

While in Colorado he was assaulted and because he is a victim of a crime and helped police catch the perpetrator he’s able to file for an U Visa.   

“He hit me with his forehand, and his fist and I fell. I started running. I thought I had lost teeth because there was so much blood. I called 911 and they responded,” Valiente said.  

Now his wife pleading that her family can stay together.

“We’ve done everything correctly, followed all the laws. Now the federal government shutdown is tearing our family apart,” said his wife, Alisha. “My three children and I are terrified that he is going to be deported, his children need him and so do I. I hope him being in sanctuary will give the government enough time to reopen, and for his motion to be reviewed.”  

They filed to reopen his case but due to the government shut down his attorney says he is in legal limbo.  

“With the government shutdown the mail goes into a box, there is no judges to decided that motion to reopen,” Guerra said.  

Ramirez Valiente is hopeful that living in sanctuary will be a short-term solution for him to pursue his legal case.

“I am very grateful for everyone from the organization, I thank god I am still united with my family,” Ramirez Valiente said.  

Trump continues to say that sanctuary jurisdiction are illegal and undocumented immigrants are criminals and will not open the government until a solution for border security is reached, but ICE maintains their stance to not search schools, hospital or places of worship.