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Two years of sanctuary in an Albuquerque church basement

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Iraqi refugee can go home

A stressful two-year chapter of Kadhim Albumohammed’s life is coming to a close.

Since July 2017, Albumohammed lived, along with his wife and daughter, in the basement of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Albuquerque. On June 26, he addressed a crowd of about two hundred supporters after learning that he can finally leave and go home without the fear of being detained by federal agents.

“I love you guys,” Albumohammed told the crowd.

Two years ago he showed up for an appointment with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, fully expecting to be detained. But, because of demonstrations by supporters, ICE canceled Albumohammed’s appointment. But at his next scheduled appointment, Albumohammed’s lawyer showed up with a letter stating that her client decided to seek sanctuary instead.