Carmela Apolonio Hernández

Sanctuary: Germantown Mennonite Church
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Carmela fled Mexico with her four children in 2015 after three close family members were murdered by a local drug cartel, and she and her daughter were attacked at their home by an extortionist from the same cartel. Carmela and her children applied for asylum at the U.S./Mexico border, but their case was assigned to the Immigration Judge with the highest asylum denial rate in Philadelphia. Had her case been decided by a different judge, she would not have had to take sanctuary in order to keep her children safe from harm in Mexico. Carmela and her children have been living in sanctuary in Philadelphia since late 2017 and are being supported by New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, Germantown Mennonite Church, and Free Migration Project.