Jose Emiliano, Rosa's son, ran up to a friend at the press conference, "Mom is coming home!" His excitement was palpable as people and TV cameras poured into the Kiva/round sanctuary which houses the Southside Presbyterian congregation.
In contrast to the previous night's vigil the press conference was the "official" announcement to the world that Rosa Robles Loreto after 462 days living in the church was free to return home. Her attorney, Margo Cowan, said that she would honor the confidential agreement with ICE to not share details of the agreement BUT Rosa was protected.
Rosa spoke thanking everyone from the Mayor to Congressional representatives to her son's school board for their support and especially to Pastor Allison and the members and friends of the church and Sanctuary movement who supported her. Over and over again, she said "Gracias de mi corazon- Thanks from my heart.
As she and her family processed out, they were followed by Jose Emiliano's school baseball team in red outfits ready to have his Mom back cheering at the games. As Margo Cowan reminded us, "First and foremost, Rosa is a mother." Now she is free to be with her family.
In a week of great disappointment to immigration activists with the 5th District Court's decision to not overturn the February 2015 federal court decision to block the implementation of President Obama's Executive Order that would have stayed deportation of up to 5 million people, Rosa's freedom was good news. Everyone at the press conference pledged to continue the justice struggle until all undocumented persons, especially families, have the right to stay.
Read the story in the Arizona Daily Star.
My life has been about crossing borders and cultures and building bridges across the boundaries that normally divide. Have you crossed any borders in your life?