COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A video message from a woman living in sanctuary here in Columbus for more than two years, asking the Democratic Presidential candidates coming to the debates at Otterbein University to meet her.
Edith Espinal’s journey has been well documented as she lives in a church to avoid deportation back to Mexico.
She fights for her legal status here in the United States, but has exhausted all of her appeals.
Now she has requested to meet with all the Democratic Presidential Candidates coming to central Ohio for the debate next week.
Espinal said even though she can’t vote, she wants people who have that right to understand where these candidates stand on immigrant rights. She invited them to her sanctuary to see if they are willing to help immigrants.
“That’s why I invited them, to show the community they really support us,” Espinal said.
She hopes while changes are made on the campus of Otterbein University for the Democratic presidential debate, that some of those candidates will meet her and see how she’s been living for the past two years.
“I think now is the time to show them,” Espinal said.
She hopes showing them her life in sanctuary will ignite change for families like hers.
Espinal’s deportation orders came under the Obama administration, and she said she feels her situation is now worse under the Trump administration.
“It’s not only my family; it’s millions of families have the same situation now in this administration and they feel scared about immigration.” Espinal said.
She explained that she doesn’t want to live this way anymore. So, she wants to see if the candidates who say they support immigrant rights will prove it and meet her.
“They only make promises to change the law for immigration, but they don’t really do nothing,” Espinal said.
She hopes the debate, which will bring a spotlight to central Ohio, will bring one of these candidates to this church and make a pledge to help people like her.
“This country is a country for opportunity and that’s why I’m fighting to keep my family together,” Espinal said.
As of now, Espinal said she’s heard back from a few candidates, but none have committed to meet with her.