Colorado Governor Pardons Illegal Immigrant Living in Churches to Avoid Deportation

The Colorado Governor issues a pardon on Dec. 23 for an illegal immigrant who had been living in Colorado Churches on and off to avoid deportation, according to multiple reports.

Jared Polis, the Colorado Governor, pardoned Ingrid Encalada Latorre, an illegal immigrant, for trying to avoid deportation by living in churches. Churches are protected from giving up undocumented immigrants to federal officials.

Latorre was convicted back in 2010 for having fabricated or stolen identification, and federal authorities started deportation proceedings for her as an illegal immigrant, according to the Gazette.

The Colorado Sun reported that with Polis’s pardon of Latorre’s felony, he was hopeful her pending deportation would be reassessed, thus facilitating her living legally in the United States. Although Polis wasn’t able to help Latorre change her immigration status, he hoped that the pardon would help kickstart her own legal United States identification.

According to The Gazette, Latorre was a citizen from Cusco, Peru, and she made her way to the United States back in 2000. At the time of her conviction, she was on probation. She paid restitution and back taxes for her crime while raising three children—all legal U.S. citizens, according to the news outlet.

Latorre had, most recently, been living in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder. Before that, she was living in Mountain View Friends Meeting House in Denver, according to the Colorado Sun.

The Gazette reported that Latorre appealed the 2010 conviction against her, arguing that she did not have a proper legal adviser to help her case at the time.

In 2017, her appeal was denied by John Hickenlooper, the former governor. At this time, Latorre had been living, since December 2016, in churches in Denver on and off. Hickenlooper cited that the felony she had committed had impacted the lives of the victims, according to the Colorado Sun.

The Gazette had also reported that Polis had pardoned people such as Eric Edelstein, John Furniss, Brandon Burke, and Jamie Matthews. According to the news outlet, the four individuals pleaded guilty to drug crimes. According to the Colorado Sun, Polis had given these people full and unconditional pardons.

As the news outlet reported, Matthews had pleaded guilty to attempting to distribute a controlled substance, as well as driving while under the influence.

Latorre expressed happiness and appreciation for the pardon, according to the Colorado Sun. With this, the deportation order against Latorre could be reopened and reconsidered.