ST. LOUIS, MO (KFVS) - A U.S. congressman is now fighting to keep a man with Heartland ties from being deported.
Congressman William Lacy Clay is asking for a stay of removal for at least one year citing hardship on the family financially and emotionally.
Alex Garcia has been living in a St. Louis area church since September 2017. He had lived in Poplar Bluff, Mo. for 13 years with his wife and five children.
Originally from Honduras, Garcia can't apply for citizenship because he was caught trying to cross the border into the U.S. in 2000.
He was granted a stay from immigration and customs in 2015 and it was renewed in 2016. It was denied in 2017.
He sought sanctuary in the church in September 2017.
The lawmaker wrote a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Chicago Field Office in support of keeping Garcia in the country. The letter was dated June 27, 2018.
Clay said there have been 1,000 people sign a nationwide petition and more than 50 clergy have participated in vigils.