Deportation

ICE Officers detain a man.
Charles Reed / AP

The coordinated immigration raids slated for this week did not take place at the scale announced by top administration officials.

‘Santuario’ Film Documents A Life In Limbo

Apr 4, 2019
Pilar Timpane

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega took sanctuary in a Greensboro church two years ago to avoid deportation back to Guatemala. She and her family hoped taking refuge there would be a short-term step. A documentary film captured her early weeks spent living in the church and stayed with her as the weeks turned to months. The film shows Juana as she tries to keep busy and stay positive, all the while showing the pain and sadness she and her family feel at living apart. 

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega stands outside St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro, where she is living in sanctuary.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Nearly 100 documentary films from around the world will be shown this week and weekend in downtown Durham. It’s the 22nd annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, with this edition highlighting the stories of laid off autoworkers, the last male northern white rhino and musical greats like Miles Davis. But there are a small group of documentaries I have especially been waiting for.

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega stands outside St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro, where she is living in sanctuary.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Since Donald Trump took office, the number of non-criminal undocumented immigrants detained and arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has spiked. That has pushed some to seek sanctuary in churches, where ICE says its policy is to avoid enforcement in so-called “sensitive locations.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Sanctuary Cities, Deportation
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A church community in Greensboro has come together to provide sanctuary protection for a woman who was scheduled for deportation this week. Instead of boarding a plane for Guatemala, Juana Luz Tobar Ortega sought the help of religious groups and found St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro.

A drawing of people crossing the border.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

You might recognize the name Wildin Acosta from WUNC News coverage.  The Durham teen came to the United States illegally from Honduras in 2014 to escape gang violence. He spent months in immigration detention before being released on bond.  

In this week's Criminal podcast, host Phoebe Judge spoke to Wildin Acosta about his experience, and what's at stake under the Trump Administration's renewed resolve to ramp up deportations. 

Criminal is recorded here at WUNC.

photo of Wildin Acosta
Courtesy of the Acosta family

On a cold morning in late January, Riverside high school senior Wildin David Guillen Acosta started his car to warm it up for the drive to school. He went inside his family’s Durham apartment to grab his book bag, and when he came back out, two Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, or ICE officers, were waiting for him.