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Cleveland "Sanctuary Church" Houses Man Facing Deportation

A photo of the exterior of Pilgrim Congregational Church in Cleveland.
Pilgrim Congregational Church in Cleveland declared itself a "sanctuary church" last December.

A Cleveland Church that declared itself a “sanctuary church” last December has announced it is housing a man facing deportation.

The Rev. Kelly Burd of Pilgrim Congregational Church says Eulogio Hernandez Box is at risk of immediate deportation to his native Guatemala after a traffic stop last year.

“His appeals (to remain in the country) ran out in 2017. And he received a notice to turn himself in for deportation here in the Cleveland area," Burd said.

Burd says Box has no criminal record and came to stay at the church “recently.” It is unclear how long he will stay.

He has four children who are U.S. citizens.

The congregation voted last December to give itself the sanctuary designation. The church is holding a community forum on immigration Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.