Alirio Gámez

Sanctuary: First Unitarian Universalist Church
Austin, Texas

In 2015, Alirio fled El Salvador. After a cruel journey to the United States, he was detained in Texas. He applied for asylum, but his application was denied in May of 2017. He is currently appealing to the 5th Circuit. Alirio fled El Salvador due to the increasing violence targeting him and his family. “It was not my dream to leave the country,” he said. “I had a good life and sufficient work. But I experienced the violence my country is suffering from and had to flee for my life.”

Alirio entered the U.S. seeking asylum, was detained by ICE and then sent to three detention centers from south Texas to New Jersey. He followed the legal system to apply for asylum, but it failed him. Since entering Sanctuary more than two years ago Alirio has seen his health deteriorate, he’s currently facing kidney and diabetes issues. While in sanctuary, Alirio had to be escorted to the doctor by sanctuary volunteers over six times, but the only way for Alirio to get the medical care he needs is to walk out of the church free from the stress of a deportation order. Due to the imminent threat of deportation, Alirio was being forced to neglect his medical care, which is cruel and inhumane.