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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Texas Congregation Gives Sanctuary to Guatemalan Refugee

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016   

AUSTIN, Texas - A church in Texas has given a Guatemalan refugee sanctuary and is hoping that more religious organizations will follow suit. Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas has taken in a woman who church officials will only call Hilda. She says she came to the U.S. to escape violence in her home country and is concerned that she may be deported.

Reverend Jim Rigby, a minister at Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church, says he hopes the church's actions will counter what he sees as hypocrisy in American policy toward refugees.

"It's very disturbing when the subject of immigration comes up and we don't tell the part about powerful nations destroying helpless people," says Rigby. "When somebody comes to our border whose nation we destabilized, we can't act like we're innocent; we have to start taking responsibility."

Rigby says most of Central America, including Guatemala, is beset with drug-gang violence, and thousands of people, including families, have come north in recent years to escape. He says deporting Hilda would be a death sentence for her.

Rigby adds he believes Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, also called ICE, will not arrest Hilda and others on church property.

"At this point, what we are hoping to do is get a network around the city of churches that can just adopt individual families, and synagogues and secular groups that want to do this," Rigby says. " The premise that is being worked on is that ICE doesn't want to come on church territory."

Contacted about the situation, ICE officials said while it is illegal to provide sanctuary from federal officials, there is an agency policy that advises agents to generally avoid enforcement actions at schools and churches.


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