NEW YORK — A Guatemalan immigrant who entered a New York City church to seek refuge from immigration authorities said Thursday she will fight to prevent being separated from her children.

As she held her 15-month-old baby, Aura Hernandez spoke to reporters inside Fourth Universalist Society, a historic Upper West Side church, where she has been hiding from federal agents. Hernandez, a mother of two who used to clean homes, has lived illegally in the U.S. since 2005.

“I am not going to keep quiet anymore. I ask all of you to not keep quiet, to defend your rights, the rights of our children,” she said in Spanish with tears in her eyes as her 10-year-old son, Daniel, stood by her side. Both of her children were born in the U.S. Hernandez, 37, vows to stay inside the church until her immigration status changes.

She entered more than two weeks ago after spending two weeks inside another church, where she first sought refuge.

Hernandez is the second immigrant who has publicly sought refuge from immigration authorities in a New York City church. Guatemalan immigrant Amanda Morales entered a church in the Washington Heights neighborhood in August with her three young children.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s official policy considers schools or churches “sensitive locations” in which enforcement action is generally avoided although may occur “in limited circumstances,” like under special orders from a supervisor.

ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow said that Hernandez was issued a final order of removal in 2006.

Hernandez was instructed to report to ICE on March 1 with a ticket to leave the U.S.

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