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‘I Would Like To Be Free, Outside, Breathing Fresh Air’: Maria’s Year In ‘Sanctuary’

Maria Merida has been living in “sanctuary” in a Boston-area church for more than a year. She has a final order of removal back to her native Guatemala but is hoping to apply for asylum to stay in the U.S. She says she rarely leaves the confines of the church. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Maria Merida has been living in “sanctuary” in a Boston-area church for more than a year. She has a final order of removal back to her native Guatemala but is hoping to apply for asylum to stay in the U.S. She says she rarely leaves the confines of the church. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

It’s been more than a year since Maria Merida moved freely outside, more than a year since she’s gone to the grocery store or gone on a walk.

That’s because she’s been staying in a Boston-area church, living in so-called “sanctuary” in the hopes of avoiding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Visit WBUR for the full story.