Immigrant family at risk of deportation takes sanctuary in Dobbs Ferry church

Marcus Solis Image
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

DOBBS FERRY, New York (WABC) -- Amid fears of deportation, a Westchester family is now living in a church in Dobbs Ferry that has offered them sanctuary.

Juan and Maria Guambana moved into South Presbyterian Church Monday afternoon along with their 8-year old daughter.

The Guambanas fled Ecuador in 1999. For more than 20 years Juan Guambana has voluntarily paid federal income taxes, started his own landscaping business and bought a house in Ossining. Their oldest son Gabriel, 24, is a DACA recipient or a "dreamer."

The Guambanas turned to a local attorney to begin the process to obtain legal status.

Instead, they say they were put at risk of deportation when the unidentified attorney advised them to leave the country voluntarily, promising it would result in the the easiest path to legal re-entry.

The family is now working with the Hudson Valley Community Coalition to reopen their immigration case.

In the meantime they say the church has welcomed them, "like family."

"This is their community, this is their nation now. It seems like a particular insult in this case that our government would come down on a family like this," South Presbyterian pastor Rev. Drew Paton said.


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