CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A woman who fears deportation under President Trump’s campaign promise to remove millions of immigrants living in the country illegally is thought to be the first person in Massachusetts to seek sanctuary in a house of worship.

The woman, originally from Ecuador, and her two U.S. citizen children are being sheltered at the University Lutheran Church in Cambridge, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

Immigrants seeing protection from federal immigration authorities have sought sanctuary at churches in Denver and Philadelphia, The Associated Press reported in December. Several hundred houses of worship of various denominations nationwide have offered to provide some form of sanctuary.

“I thought it was a better option because I wouldn’t have to be out on the streets where immigration could come for me,” the 26-year-old woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said through an interpreter because she speaks Spanish.

She said she was brought to the U.S. against her will and was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2012. She was released pending the outcome of her case, but has exhausted her appeals and was ordered to leave the U.S.

She fears returning to Ecuador because the man who first brought her to the U.S. has threatened to kill her, she said. She also fears being separated from her children and their father.

University Lutheran Church is working with eight other groups known as the Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition to provide the family with 24-hour accompaniment, food, and other necessities.

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