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Across the country, churches and congregations have rallied to offer support to undocumented immigrants facing deportation. Now one activist in Manhattan is pushing the powerful Archdiocese of New York to do more to help immigrants. Felix Cepeda, 36, wants the Roman Catholic Church to open at least one of its shuttered churches and provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants – a step that would be as bold as it could be potentially risky. For weeks, Cepeda has spent every other day in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral staging a series of fasts and vigils. He carries a sign that reads, in Spanish, “No human being is illegal.” Sometimes he speaks with curious tourists who engage him. Mostly, he sits quietly before the throngs of the faithful and the busy passing by. The son of immigrants and a former Jesuit brother in the Dominican Republic, Cepeda is a one-man social justice mission. “I feel the Catholic Church does great work, but we can always do more,” he told NBC Latino. “I feel the church needs to step up and at least offer one undocumented person sanctuary here.”
Photo: Raul Reyes