It seems that the idea of church sanctuary doesn't count anymore.
Sacred worship, duty to law pitted
ICE agent removes man, 31, during church service
By SUSAN CARROLL Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
Feb. 18, 2009, 10:43PM
On a Sunday morning, in a church sanctuary near Conroe, an off-duty immigration agent tapped Jose Juan Hernandez on the shoulder and asked him to step outside.
A 31-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico with three prior deportations, Hernandez quietly followed the agent and promptly was detained on suspicion of illegal re-entry after deportation, said Gregory Palmore, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman in Houston.
The case would be unremarkable, except for the setting. The fact that Hernandez was detained in church has sparked controversy locally. Hernandez was arrested Oct. 26, pleaded guilty to the re-entry charge this month and is scheduled for sentencing in April. He remains in federal detention in Conroe. Hernandez’s attorney, Rick Soliz, said he plans to file a complaint against the ICE agent in connection with the arrest.
“I wonder what the agent was thinking, if he was thinking at all,” Soliz said. “How do you decide to do that in the middle of a religious service?” more