Woman takes refuge from deportation in Humboldt Park church

- Gov. Bruce Rauner faced growing anger Wednesday among fellow Republicans, urging him not to sign into law new rules directing Illinois law enforcement not to detain immigrants just because they are in the country illegally.

As that debate raged, a Mexican woman due to be deported today sought refuge in a storefront church.

Francisca Lino admits through an interpreter that 18 years ago she was caught illegally entering the United States near El Paso, Texas. 

“So, she was just trying to get a better life, struggling in Mexico, a better life for her kids,” said family friend Toribio Barrera.

The agents who arrested Lino deported her back to Mexico a few hours later, however, a few hours after that she said she crossed the border again, this time traveling straight to Chicago. She found a job and a new husband, a U.S. citizen, with whom she's been raising six U.S. citizen children in Bolingbrook. The family was distraught that she faced immediate deportation and has moved into this small church in Humboldt Park.

“They got depressed,” Barrera said. “They don't know what to do.”

Under the proposal, police departments across Illinois would be directed not to detain immigrants like Francisca Lino, now living in the church, strictly because of her immigration status. Gov. Rauner's spokeswoman said he will sign that proposal next week, a move that would make one former Republican congressman very angry.

“If he allows Illinois to become a sanctuary state, I'm just a former congressman, but I've got a microphone. I'm done with him. I don't think there's any way he wins. I'm going to let everybody know that he sold this state out,” former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said.

Similar arguments appear on conservative websites, such as Illinois Review. It showed photos of people killed by immigrants here illegally and claimed they cost billions of dollars, an assertion business groups and others label false.

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