SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A woman who took sanctuary in a Massachusetts church to avoid deportation to her native Peru has been granted a one-year stay of removal by federal immigration officials.
The Pioneer Valley Project and members of the South Congregational Church in Springfield have announced Monday that Gisella Collazo will be allowed to return to her Springfield home while she pursues lawful residency.
Collazo, who is married to an American citizen and has two U.S.-born children, took sanctuary in the church in March after being ordered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to leave the country immediately.
She has said her efforts to remain in the U.S. have been stymied by "attorney errors."
ICE says she entered the U.S. illegally in 2001 with a fraudulent passport.