(DURHAM HERALD-SUN) -- DURHAM, North Carolina -- Calling it a “moment in history,” the Rev. William Barber, president of North Carolina’s chapter of the NAACP, and other pastors called on citizens and members of the faith community to sign a petition and take other action to rescind the ordered deportation of Pastor José Chicas, who since June 27 has taken sanctuary from immigration authorities at the School for Conversion.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, director of the School for Conversion, called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement “to rescind the deportation order and allow Pastor Chicas to go home. ... No label of ‘criminal’ changes the fact that he is a brother” in Christ.
Chicas, 52, told the crowd gathered Monday at School for Conversion that he wanted to “tell my story.” Speaking through a translator, Chicas said he fled El Salvador’s civil war in 1985. “Like many young people, I made mistakes,” and was charged and pled guilty to driving under the influence and domestic abuse. He later underwent a spiritual conversion, reconciled with his wife, and now pastors Iglesia Evangelica in Raleigh.
Advertisement - story continues below