Church offers sanctuary to Albanian family man ordered deported

- An immigration crackdown has many people nervous and deportation orders are skyrocketing. One Detroit area family is refusing to follow orders - and they're getting help from a local church.

An immigration crackdown has many people nervous and deportation orders are skyrocketing. One Detroit area family is refusing to follow orders - and they're getting help from a local church.

Behind a door is all of the comforts of home - a kitchen, bedrooms, and a family. Ded Rranxburgaj and his wife Flora have two sons ages 24 and 15.

Multiple sclerosis has left Flora's once healthy body confined to a wheelchair. Her husband Ded is their soul provider and caregiver. Now he's been ordered deported on Jan. 25.

"To leave my wife very sick (and) never see her again - that's very hard for me and for my family," Ded said.

All of which is why he's not going. 

"This sanctuary we are in, is 150 years old," said Rev. Jill Zundell, Central United Methodist Church for this family. "What better place to announce that we will be sanctuary for this family."

The Rranxburgajs came to the United States from Albania seeking political asylum 17 years ago. While navigating the immigration process, Flora became ill with MS making her ineligible for deportation. 

Her husband was granted humanitarian status as her caregiver 11 years ago - all the while following all of the immigration rules. Then three months ago he was told he has to go.

"Really my wife needs me here," Ded said.

"Who's to take care of me?" said Flora. "Who's to take care of my little son?"

Who would take care of them if he was deported, is unknown. South Central United Methodist Church is offering sanctuary housing the family within the walls of the church - refusing to let Ded be deported.

There are bunkbeds for the family and a hospital bed will be brought in for Flora. This will be their home for the foreseeable future.

"This family will not be pulled apart under our watch," Zundell said.

"I really appreciate (this)," Ded said. "And my thanks to allow me to stay with my wife, my kids and my family."
 

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