In a Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 photo, Ded Rranxburgaj talks at a press conference after taking sanctuary at Central United Methodist Church while facing deportation in Detroit. Ded Rranxburgaj and his wife Flora Rranxburgaj, both from Albania, immigrated to the U.S. 17 years ago and applied for refugee status within 5 months of their arrival. Eleven years ago Flora fell ill with Multiple Sclerosis and her husband Ded has had to take care of her since. He recently received notice that he needed to leave the country.(Romain Blanquart/Detroit Free Press via AP)

Albanian Man Lives In Church To Keep Family Together From Deportation

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A Detroit church has become a sanctuary for a man in the country illegally who was ordered deported to Albania even though he says that he is the sole caretaker of his wheelchair-bound wife.

Central United Methodist Church officials announced at a news conference that the church is offering sanctuary to Ded Rranxburgaj, 48, of Southgate, who is scheduled to be deported Jan. 25. The Rranxburgaj family will stay at an apartment in the church indefinitely, church leaders and Michigan United officials said.

Ded said; “I’m scared because I have to leave my wife after almost 30 years (being) married, sick and with my son, 15 years old,” he said. “It is very hard.”

Ded’s wife Flora has multiple sclerosis and he has been her sole caretaker while she’s battled this disease for over a decade. She is with him inside the church as he waits for what happens next.



Dr. Jill Hardt Zundel is the reverend at Central United Methodist Church and she understands some may have a different point of view regarding this story. She is responding to critics who don’t believe Ded should receive sanctuary.

Immigration officials told Ded Rranxburgaj in October that he was going to be deported. The administration of President Donald Trump has cracked down on illegal immigration since he took office in January.

“This person is not a terrorist. He’s not a threat to your country. He’s trying to make a better life,” said the Rev. Jill Hardt Zundel, senior pastor of Central United Methodist. “I follow a man named Jesus who flipped tables over, who tried to stop oppression. And that’s what we’re doing here.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy advises against targeting houses of worship and schools for enforcement actions. According to FOX 2, ICE says, they will not go into the church, considering it a sensitive location, unless they have special orders.





………………………….Updates to Follow………………………..

 

Image Credit Associated Press

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