José  Chicas
José Chicas, 52, from El Salvador, has lived in the U.S. for over 30 years. Now he faces deportation. Since June 27, 2017, he has been living at the School for Conversion in Durham to avoid deportation and remain close to his family in Raleigh.
Counting THE DAYS.
As of today, 21st May 2022, José has been living in sanctuary at the School for Conversion:
José’s Story

Chicas fled his native El Salvador during its civil war in the 1980s, seeking asylum in the US. In the 1990s, before Chicas and his wife experienced a spiritual conversion, he struggled with alcoholism. During that time, he was charged with and pled guilty to driving under the influence and domestic abuse.

But 20 years ago, Chicas reconciled with his wife, received a call to preach, and has served his family and community in North Carolina for two decades. Under the new aggressive immigration enforcement policies of the Trump administration, Chicas has been targeted as a “criminal” by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which ordered him to leave his family and congregation last Tuesday without any hope of ever returning.

“My congregation is calling, asking me, “‘When can you come back? We miss you,’” said José Chicas, who pastors Iglesia Evangelica in Raleigh, NC.

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Early 2017
President Donald Trump signs an executive order to crack down on immigration.
Chicas was issued a final order of removal from the country after skipping an immigration court date at the advice of a previous attorney. He applied for asylum, but his application was denied in 2008.
February 28, 2002
Jose Chicas found God. All these years later, he remembers the date because he marked it in blue ink with the words “received Christ” and tore that month from his calendar. He carries it with him, along with a worn Bible.
In the 1990s, he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and domestic abuse while struggling with alcoholism.


Chicas fled his native El Salvador in the 1980’s during that country’s civil war and sought asylum in the U.S.

On October 2, we saw success in another sanctuary case – the deportation order agains Minerva, mother of three, was vacated!