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Immigrant freed from sanctuary after more than 3 years

Supervision agreement allows Ded Rranxburgaj to leave Detroit church

The Albanian immigrant who took sanctuary with his family in 2018 is finally able to walk the streets of Detroit again now that the threat of deportation has been lifted. Ded Rranxburgaj reported to the regional immigration field office Tuesday to finalize an arrangement ending his time in sanctuary.

“I'm pleased to announce that the government has agreed to place Ded back on an order of supervision on humanitarian grounds,” said George Mann, one of his immigration attorneys. “After more than three years, the ordeal of the Rranxburgaj family has come to an end. Today, Ded is able to walk out of Central United Methodist Church from the protection Rev. Zundel and their extended community of supporters.”

While not a full stay of removal, the arrangement will allow him to see the outside of Central United Methodist Church where he has lived with his wife, Flora, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, and their two sons, Eric and Lorence.

“Sanctuary is hard for everyone and we are thankful that the family was able to stay together,“ said the church’s pastor Rev. Dr. Jill Hardt Zundel. “However, our work is not over as long as ICE continues to tear families apart. We already have people asking to come into our church for sanctuary after this family moves on. We need immigration reform now! Thank you to everyone who made it possible for the Rranxburgaj family to remain together.”

Rranxburgaj says his next objective is to find a first-floor apartment to accommodate his wife`s disabilities. Those wishing to support the future of the family as they move on from this experience can donate here:


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