Jamaican couple leave Philadelphia church basement after 843 DAYS in hiding as ICE drop case

An undocumented couple on Monday left the basement of a Philadelphia church after 843 days following the news their deportation case had been dropped.

Oneita and Clive Thompson say they left Jamaica 15 years ago to flee gang violence. 

They were forced to hide out in the Tabernacle United Church with two of their seven children for almost two years after losing their asylum case in August 2018 and being told they would be deported, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. 

Oneita and Clive Thompson have left the basement of a Philadelphia church after 843 days following the news their deportation case had been dropped

Oneita and Clive Thompson have left the basement of a Philadelphia church after 843 days following the news their deportation case had been dropped

Oneita and Clive Thompson have left the basement of a Philadelphia church after 843 days following the news their deportation case had been dropped

They were forced to hide out in the Tabernacle United Church with two of their seven children for almost two years

They were forced to hide out in the Tabernacle United Church with two of their seven children for almost two years

They were forced to hide out in the Tabernacle United Church with two of their seven children for almost two years

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement then wrote to the pair in recent weeks, telling them that they will support their case to stay; it is not clear why. 

ICE agents are stopped from taking action in houses of worship, hospitals, and schools. 

Clive, 61, told CBS: ‘When we got the letter from ICE, I was just looking at it in shock. It’s a big breakthrough – after working so long, this is a miracle. I feel like all the stress is drifting away, and everything is lighting up with joy.’ 

Nursing assistant Oneita, 48, added: ‘My whole heart is ready to go.

The couple's two youngest of their seven children, Christine, 18, and Timothy, 14, joined them in the basement

The couple's two youngest of their seven children, Christine, 18, and Timothy, 14, joined them in the basement

The couple’s two youngest of their seven children, Christine, 18, and Timothy, 14, joined them in the basement

The family was forced into hiding after losing their asylum case in August 2018 and they were told they would be deported

The family was forced into hiding after losing their asylum case in August 2018 and they were told they would be deported

The family was forced into hiding after losing their asylum case in August 2018 and they were told they would be deported

‘Doubt was never in my mind. I was very afraid — afraid of losing my children, of being deported. But if I allowed doubt in my mind, I would have fallen apart. I was fearful, but not doubtful.’

‘I’m joyful, a joyful moment, with tears. Here we are, walking out of the church. We’re going to go back and live the American dream’, heavy-equipment operator Clive added. 

Tabernacle’s pastor Rev. Katie Aikins said: ‘It’s a little bit like a Christmas miracle.’

They are now said to be in the process of applying for permanent residency in the US after fleeing Jamaica

They are now said to be in the process of applying for permanent residency in the US after fleeing Jamaica

They are now said to be in the process of applying for permanent residency in the US after fleeing Jamaica

Children Christine and Timothy were US citizens and were able to go to school despite their parents hiding away

Children Christine and Timothy were US citizens and were able to go to school despite their parents hiding away

Children Christine and Timothy were US citizens and were able to go to school despite their parents hiding away

The couple have seven children – three of whom are American citizens. Their two youngest children, American citizens Christine, 18, and Timothy, 14, joined them in the basement. 

They are now said to be in the process of applying for permanent residency in the US after fleeing Jamaica when a gang burned their farm, threatening to kill them.

The government had said they could stay but denied them asylum and they raised their family in America. 

When Donald Trump took office his administration made moves to deport the couple. 

Link hienalouca.com

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