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Couple emerges after hiding in church’s basement for 843 days

PHILADELPHIA (KYW) — A couple has emerged from a West Philadelphia church after hiding out in the basement for 843 days.

Oneita and Clive Thompson recently received written confirmation that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will support their case to stay in the United States.

The couple says they came to the U.S. from Jamaica about 15 years ago fleeing gang violence.

“When we got the letter from ICE, I was just looking at it in shock. It’s a big breakthrough – after working so long, this is a miracle. I feel like all the stress is drifting away, and everything is lighting up with joy,” Clive Thompson said in a statement.

They have seven children, three of which are citizens.

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The couple, along with their two youngest children, stayed behind the walls of Tabernacle United Church for nearly half of President Donald Trump’s term.

They lost their asylum case and ICE ordered them deported, which would have separated them from their children.

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