Colorado governor pardons woman who sought sanctuary in churches to avoid deportation

Colorado governor pardons woman who sought sanctuary in churches to avoid deportation
© Greg Nash

Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisDemocratic governors worried about drawn-out 2020 fight Overnight Energy: Trump officials finalize plans to shrink Bears Ears, Grand Staircase | Trump backs off support for Yucca Mountain nuke waste site | BLM leadership expanded Colorado oil drilling over staff objections BLM leadership expanded oil drilling in Colorado over local staff objections MORE (D) granted pardons on Friday to five individuals, including a woman who has sought sanctuary in various Colorado churches to evade immigration officials seeking to deport her.

A statement from the governor's office did not mention Ingrid Encalada LaTorre's story but stated that she and others deserved a second chance. It wasn't clear if the purging of her felony conviction would affect the deportation proceedings against her.

"Clemencies are a tremendous responsibility given to a governor that can change a person’s life," said Polis. "These decisions were not taken lightly and were made after careful consideration of each individual case."

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"These are people looking for a second chance and the opportunity to move beyond the mistakes from their past. They have taken important steps to turn their lives around and shown remorse for their actions," he added.

LaTorre faced deportation after being convicted of possessing falsified or stolen identification papers in 2010, according to the Coloradoan but has successfully avoided removal thus far by living in various churches in the area which are protected from giving up undocumented immigrants to federal officials.

"At least, as due to this pardon, I hope that your prior conviction will not stand in your way," Polis wrote to LaTorre, according to the Coloradoan.

Former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada Trump seeks to boost vulnerable GOP senator with Colorado rally Nonpartisan election forecaster moves Colorado Senate race to 'leans Democratic' MORE (D) was petitioned to pardon LaTorre in 2017 but declined to do so. LaTorre, a Peruvian immigrant, currently resides at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Boulder, Colo., with her children.