Just a few kilometres north of the White House in the US capital, a church is giving sanctuary to a woman facing deportation from the United States to her native El Salvador.

Rosa Gutierrez Lopez fled fearing for her life 13 years ago, but was ordered to return to El Salvador after missing an early hearing at immigration court.

US immigration officials have typically avoided entering houses of worship to detain people facing deportation orders and, during the Trump administration, religious activists have stepped up efforts to protect asylum seekers.

Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan reports from Bethesda, Maryland, on why the church is offering sanctuary to asylum seekers.


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