PRESS ADVISORY: Faith Leaders stand with Hilda Ramirez as ICE threatens her with deportation, steep fines, and criminal prosecution

For immediate release​: December 16, 2019
– Jessica Duran, ​​, ​(956) 622-2736​
– Claudia Munoz, ​​, (512) 910-1759


ASN press advisory PDF

Faith Leaders stand with Hilda Ramirez as ICE threatens her with deportation, steep fines, and criminal prosecution.

ICE Escalates Retaliation Against Communities of Faith

WHAT​: Press Conference and Rally
WHO​: Austin Sanctuary Network, Grassroots Leadership, and Faith leaders from Austin, TX
WHEN​: Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 at 7:30am
WHERE​: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 14311 Wells Port Dr, Austin, TX 78728. After the press conference we will caravan to the ICE office at the J.J. Pickle Federal Building (Corner of 9th St and San Jacinto St).

AUSTIN, Tex. — Tuesday morning, faith leaders and community members will hold a press conference before caravaning to the J.J. Pickle Building in response to a letter sent to Hilda Ramirez by San Antonio Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Director Daniel Bible. Letter can be viewed here​.

Two months ago, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rescinded fines ranging between $300,000 – $500,000 against seven women living in Sanctuary in churches across the country, including Hilda Ramirez. Last week, ICE sent letters threatening renewal of the civil fines and potential criminal prosecution. Until now the only thing preventing ICE from carrying out an enforcement action at a place of worship has been a “sensitive locations” memorandum issued years ago.

Local Faith leaders are deeply troubled at the prospect that houses of worship may not be treated as the sanctuaries they are. The above-referenced letter gives cause to believe that the U.S. government may be considering violating its past commitments to honor the sanctity of these spaces. On Tuesday, people of faith will be asking federal authorities for a clear answer as to whether federal officials have any intentions to enter houses of worship to carry out enforcement procedures.


The​ Austin Sanctuary Network (ASN)​ is a coalition of faith communities, immigrants, other community members and organizations in and around Austin, Texas, that support immigrants fleeing violence or in danger of deportation. Follow us​ @SanctuaryAustin

Grassroots Leadership i​ s an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation, and criminalization are things of the past. Follow us @Grassroots_News.​