Lucio Perez is a father and husband, yet he lives alone in a church - not by choice, but out of necessity. For over six months, Perez has been avoiding deportation and seeking refuge at the Amherst’s First Congregational Church in Massachusetts.
Perez is a Guatemalan native who came to the United States 20-years-ago to escape the sizable gang violence within his neighborhood. Now, he lives in the basement of the church to skirt the force of Immigration Customs Enforcement.
During the Obama Administration, many immigrants, including Perez, were granted stays of deportation. However, all that changed with President Donald Trump, and on Oct. 19, a Judge ordered Perez to go back to Guatemala.
Interviewed by Immigration Attorney Brad Bernstein earlier this year, Perez said he was misguided during prior court proceedings.
Dubbing Perez’s legal aid as an “ineffective assistance of counsel,” Brad told Perez that he can reopen his case under a Matter of Lozada. After reopening the case, Brad stressed that if Perez shows the extreme unusual hardship placed on his family if he were to be deported - he may be able to stay.
Watch the entire interview below to hear Perez’s first hand account on his adverse situation.