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Ded Rranxburgaj

Flora Rranxburgaj, left, and her husband Ded Rranxburgaj, right,
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It's been nearly two years since Albanian immigrant Ded Rranxburgaj and his wife, Flora, took refuge at Central United Methodist Church in Detroit.

Flora has multiple sclerosis and Ded is her sole caregiver. He had been allowed to stay in the United States on humanitarian grounds until a deportation order from ICE came down in 2017, prompting the couple to seek sanctuary at the church.

Michigan United

Members of a church that gave an immigrant man sanctuary are walking from Detroit to Lansing to raise awareness of his situation.

Supporters say Ded Rranxburgaj, an Albanian man who's lived in the U.S. since 2001, is the sole support for his disabled wife, who has multiple sclerosis, and his 15-year-old son.  

He's been living in Detroit's Central United Methodist Church for four months after the government revoked his humanitarian status.

Cynthia Canty / Michigan Radio

 


The concept of seeking sanctuary in a church is an ancient one. 

 

As the United States toughens its immigration stance though, people facing deportation are turning to churches for sanctuary. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Two Michigan members of Congress are taking a public stance in support of a Metro Detroit man facing deportation.

Ded Rranxburgaj, a native of Albania, entered the U.S. illegally in 2001. In January, he claimed sanctuary at Detroit’s Central United Methodist Church before he could be deported. The family, including two sons, has been living there ever since.

Ded and Flora Rranxburgaj's younger son, Eric, speaks on his father's behalf outside ICE offices in Detroit Wednesday.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Supporters of a Metro Detroit man scheduled for deportation this week rallied on his behalf outside U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in Detroit on Wednesday.

With his deportation imminent, Ded Rranxburgaj and his family sought sanctuary in a Detroit church last week.

Rranxburgaj entered the U.S. illegally in 2001 and has faced deportation orders before. The government granted him stays because his wife, Flora, is seriously ill with multiple sclerosis.