Church asks ICE to release member facing deportation

CARY, N.C. (AP) — A church in North Carolina is asking the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release a church member.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary held a press conference Thursday on behalf of Republic of Congo native Gilles Bikindou.

Bikindou was arrested and threatened with deportation Tuesday during one of his regular check-ins with ICE in Charlotte. Bikindou is detained at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga.

Rev. Lauren Efird says the church is asking ICE to reconsider his stay of removal application, which was denied the day it was submitted.

Efird says Bikindou has a serious medical condition. Efird says she wasn’t sure if Bikindou has received medical attention while in custody and warned that his health may be getting worse.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com