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