Guatemalan man remains in sanctuary at Amherst church

11 faith-based organizations have signed up to provide meals for Lucio

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been a month since Lucio Perez took sanctuary in an Amherst church.

The 35-year-old has been staying in Amherst’s First Congregational Church since October 18, after ICE issued a warrant for his arrest. He has not left the church for fear of arrest and deportation.

Pastor Vicki Kemper of Amherst’s First Congregational Church was very protective, and fearful that our video might put Perez in danger.

Perez is staying in an old meeting room, inside the church. However, 22News has also not been allowed to see or record the room.

“It’s a security risk. We don’t want telegraph to the world where he is in our building,” Pastor Kemper said.

22News was restricted to certain areas of the church. We were unable to speak with him, because he doesn’t speak English and no translator was available.

Perez wears an ankle monitoring bracelet and uses an exercise bike to stay active.

Pastor Kemper said a network of 11 faith-based organizations have signed up to provide meals for Lucio, and they’re depending on donations to help with expenses.