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Three months later, Detroit church still providing sanctuary for Albanian immigrant, family

Cynthia Canty
Michigan Radio


The concept of seeking sanctuary in a church is an ancient one. 


As the United States toughens its immigration stance though, people facing deportation are turning to churches for sanctuary. 

One such case is happening right now in downtown Detroit. 


Ded Rranxburgaj is an Albanian immigrant who is facing deportation. He'd been allowed to stay in the U.S. for years because his wife Flora suffers from multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair. 


Ded and Flora turned to Central United Methodist Church to seek sanctuary. They've been living at the church since January. 


Stateside recently visited the church to learn their story. Along with the Rranxburgaj couple, we spoke with Caitlin Homrich-Knieling, an immigrant family defense organizer withMichigan United, and Arthur Park, chair of the Peace and Justice Committee at the Central United Methodist Church.


Listen to the conversation above to hear what might happen to the family if Ded were deported, how the church has been supporting the family during this time, and what the advocates would like the public to know about the family's case.


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