Democratic mayor critical of church offering sanctuary
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Democratic mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts, is criticizing a city church providing sanctuary to a Peruvian woman facing deportation.
Mayor Domenic Sarno on Tuesday ordered an inspection of the South Congregational Church for possible housing code violations and is seeking to have the church’s tax-exempt status stripped.
Sarno previously said he was disappointed the church would “exploit this family for their own causes.”
City Councilor Adam Gomez, referring to Sarno as “Mayor Trump,” called his comments “callous.”
The Springfield Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition said the church is housing Gisella Collazo and her American-born children.
Collazo is married to an American and has been in the U.S. for 17 years. She was told by immigration officials to return to Peru by Tuesday.
ICE says she entered the U.S. illegally using a fraudulent passport.