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 PolisDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Colorado trucker's case provides pathways to revive pardon power Biden addresses Coloradans after wildfires: 'Incredible courage and resolve' 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 HickenlooperDemocrats race to squash Cruz's Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Biden addresses Coloradans after wildfires: 'Incredible courage and resolve' Equilibrium/Sustainability — Mars may start 'terraforming itself' 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.