By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Having lived in Philadelphia churches for years, a mother and her four children are now free to live without the threat of deportation. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement says they are no longer a deportation priority.

Carmela Apolonio Hernandez and her four children have been living in Philadelphia churches since 2017. They publicly left the Germantown Mennonite Church on Wednesday and are vowing to continue their fight for legal status.

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“We have an administration and a Congress that must pass immigration reform so that Carmela is truly welcomed into the U.S. with all the privileges as are the millions of others who are waiting,” Philadelphia Councilmember Helen Gym said.

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Hernandez and her children fled Mexico in 2015.

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They say three close family members were killed by a drug cartel.