Lucio Perez to spend holidays with family at Amherst church providing sanctuary

The church in Amherst has made him feel at home and he'll be able to spend the holidays with his family

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Amherst First congregational Church became Lucio Perez temporary home on Ocotber 18, after ICE issued a warrant for his arrest..

The church transformed an old meeting room into his bedroom, but they said we can’t show it because it would be a security risk.

As an immigration fugitive, Perez can’t leave church grounds, fearing arrest and deportation. After multiple visits to the church 22News finally had the chance to speak with Perez.

“The situation that i’m going through now hasn’t been easy for me and because of that I ask that we can all unite to strengthen my case,” said Perez.

Margaret Sawyer of the “Pioneer Valley Works Center” translates for Lucio. Perez said he knows of many families in similar situations.

“Muchas familias, madres. We’ve seen a lot of fathers and mothers who have been separated from their families,” said Perez.

Despite the difficult situation, Perez told 22News he’s felt welcomed by the people at First Congregational Church in Amherst.

Church Moderator Russ Vernon-Jones told 22News through a statement that Lucio and his wife and three children will enjoy a feast on Christmas Day, shared with members of The First Congregational Church.