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Capitol Hill Community Post | Father seeks sanctuary at Seattle’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral

From Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral
Jaime Rubio Sulficio, father, husband, and community leader, has been received into Sanctuary at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle. He has a United States citizen son and is married to a U.S. citizen. He seeks a legal remedy that would allow for a stay of deportation to Mexico and allow for the reuniting of his family. He sees the prospect of permanent separation as immoral, arbitrary, and unjust, causing long-term hardship to his wife who faces health challenges and inflicting emotional trauma for his son, a tender six years of age. Going into Sanctuary was not an easy choice. “It’s difficult to be apart from my family. I can’t imagine not being able to see my son and wife. I will stay in Sanctuary while we find a legal remedy for my situation,” states Rubio Sulficio.

The Dean of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, The Very Rev. Steven Thomason shares the Cathedral’s decision to accept Jaime into Sanctuary: “From our faith teachings, we are instructed to care for our neighbors as ourselves and to offer hospitality and kindness to people in need. Such as is the case for Jaime. We will stand with Jaime and his family until he is granted the opportunity to return home and restart his construction business.”

Michael Ramos of the Church Council of Greater Seattle noted, “Local faith communities applaud Saint Mark’s Cathedral for providing Sanctuary to Mr. Rubio Sulficio. His courageous step to stop the process of being torn from his family sheds light on the unjust practice of deporting hundreds of thousands of people annually with deep roots in the U.S. and who pose no threat to society. Sanctuary gives a human face to these hard-working, socially-contributing and family-oriented immigrants who belong here.”

In welcoming Mr. Rubio Sulficio into Sanctuary and providing support for his family, Saint Mark’s recognizes them as part of the congregation’s family. They are children of God, deserving of dignity and respect, to be honored for preserving the integrity of their family as a life-affirming, profoundly sacred act. The Church Council of Greater Seattle extends the solidarity of its “For Such a Time as This” network congregations, 150-strong. The Church Council recognizes the loving hospitality of this cathedral, in partnership with justice-seeking organizations, toward protecting family unity and proclaiming in word and deed that what is required of us is “to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8).

The tradition of Sanctuary has deep biblical and historical roots as places of welcome, hospitality, and moral protection in sacred space for people who fear harm or violence towards them. There are nearly 50 immigrants at risk of deportation who have taken Sanctuary in congregations in the United States since 2016.

Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral strives to be: a house of prayer for all people, where we worship God and proclaim the reconciling Gospel of Jesus Christ; a loving, welcoming, inclusive community that nurtures faith, encourages service, and integrates social and environmental justice into our lives; a sacred gathering place for the Diocese of Olympia and the broader community in times of crisis, sorrow, and

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14 thoughts on “Capitol Hill Community Post | Father seeks sanctuary at Seattle’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral

  1. Funny that it is apparently not traumatic to uproot oneself from Mexico to Seattle, but an affront to human rights for him to take his family to the country where he has a legal right to live.

    • Where in this article does it say that it wasn’t traumatic for this individual, or anyone, to uproot themselves from their home? As the daughter of an immigrant I can assure you that it is traumatic and usually happens for a reason.

    • His partner and son are citizens of this country and he should be allowed to stay also. The governments policies on deportations is wrong and we need to rework and create a fair and free immigration system for all. We are a nation of immigrants and should continue to accept refugees and immigrants that make our nation better.

      • We can agree to disagree. I have a family member who brought their spouse to the US on a fiancee visa, then married, and followed the rules to a Green Card after several years.

        Missing from the article is any information on the reason for deportation beyond being here illegally, if there is such an issue.

        We are a nation of laws, and evidently this man did not follow them. There are consequences. Otherwise why not admit the hundreds of millions who also want to be here.

        And Mexico is not a hellhole. It is a good country with 125 million people, a strong and growing economy and middle class and a life being lived by many there. Just as we have problems in the US, so do they. But their vaccination rate is higher!

        I wonder how many at St. Marks support this sanctuary or truly believe that there is an injustice here. And I am not implying that these are not good people or he a fine upstanding person. I just see no compelling reason that they should live here vs. Mexico as a family, and decry those who routinely come to conclusions without details and have implicit xenophobia or racism when they imply that there is not a good life to be had elsewhere including our Southern neighbor.

    • Read it. No change in my view, other than bolstering it. He knew his stays had limits. And he really lost me when claiming his wife can’t get care in Mexico for epilepsy and claimed PTSD from a prior abusive relationship. They have 1st world health care available in Mexico.

      And some added color that mom and son are apparently Japanese as well? That might present him another legal option.

      Again, the person taking me to task plays the pity card, but fails to address my question of what criteria ought to be applied to the hundreds of millions in the world who would like to live in the US and other rich countries? Do we give a pass to those who broke the rules, and say tough luck to those who did not? Mexico is a viable option that will not destroy anyone’s life unless they decide to keep fighting and thus remain apart. Condolences to all.

      • I doubt you are not hypocritical in any way. Nobody is. People like you talk about “a nation of laws” as if you have never jaywalked or driven over the speed limit.

        The only difference between a guy like him and someone who has an EB-5 is $500k. Immigration laws can be bypassed or lobbied and changed.

      • lol este guey “1st world health care” sure

        i’ve had care in both us and mexico and …. one is way better, but more expensive, than the other.

  2. Doesn’t a person whose spouse is a US citizen have an automatic right to stay in the country and eventually get a green card? If this is true, then there must be some other reason why Mr. Sulficio is up for deportation.

    • Not knowing the particulars of the case, I’d guess the probable reason he’s up for deportation is because the Trump administration doesn’t care about his spouse’s citizenship and just wants to get rid of as many third-world immigrants as possible, “illegal” or otherwise. And they know that most immigrants don’t have the knowledge or resources to challenge their deportation. This one was lucky to at least get a church to help him.

    • A person who is not residing here when they marry can apply for a green card and one who is here legally – say perhaps on a work visa does become eligible for a green card if they marry a citizen, but if you are here illegally in the first that is grounds for refusal.

  3. If someone marries a US citizen (or a GC holder) they can be sponsored and get GC. The problem is if someone has broken the immigration law before marrying – apparently as he was living in Seattle, he crossed the border to Mexico and tried to cross the border back illegally and was caught. That results in misdemeanor charge and “ban for life” from US. Even in he is married he can’t be sponsored for GC because immigration law doesn’t provide relief if you broke it once.