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Church members walk to Lansing on behalf of immigrant in sanctuary

Michigan United

Members of a church that gave an immigrant man sanctuary are walking from Detroit to Lansing to raise awareness of his situation.

Supporters say Ded Rranxburgaj, an Albanian man who's lived in the U.S. since 2001, is the sole support for his disabled wife, who has multiple sclerosis, and his 15-year-old son.  

He's been living in Detroit's Central United Methodist Church for four months after the government revoked his humanitarian status.

Jill Hardt Zundel is senior pastor of Central United Methodist.  She says she hopes to walk the entire way.  The group will walk about 10 miles a day, and end in Lansing with a rally on Tuesday.

"(There's) still no movement on giving him a stay of removal," says Hardt Zundel. "So we're continuing to walk, to raise awareness, to educate people, and hopefully have some people in legislation realize what's going on and intervene on his behalf."

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Rranxburgaj is a fugitive.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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