Undocumented family in Philadelphia pleads for help after COVID-19 infection

PHILADELPHIA -- Members of an undocumented family from Mexico, who have been living at the Germantown Mennonite Church in Philadelphia for almost three years, are asking for help as they continue to battle the side effects of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, they held a vigil to call for assistance from Congress to help them legally stay here in the United States.

Carmela Apolonio Hernandez and her children fled Mexico in 2015 after close family members were killed by a drug cartel.

The family took sanctuary at the church.
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Family seeks help to stay in United States. Rick Williams reports during Action News at 5:30 p.m. on April 26, 2018.

In the late spring, Carmela and her three oldest children suffered severe COVID-19 symptoms.

They are still dealing with lingering side effects.

The family is asking for speedy processing of their pending visa applications so they can seek medical care outside of the church without fear of deportation.

If their pending visas are approved, the family could stay in the United States and later apply for citizenship.

The family is receiving assistance from the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, an interfaith group, focused on stopping injustice against immigrants.