An active volunteer at St. John the Baptist Parish in Milwaukie was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers Sept. 19. Rosendo Cid Ramos is being held in Tacoma, Washington.

In June, Ramos had been investigated for suspected drunk driving, but tests turned out negative and he was released.

The scrape with police apparently revealed that Ramos is in the country without authorization.

For several months, the native of Puebla, Mexico, thought life was back to normal. But parishioners noticed ICE officers surveilling the parish this summer and his family saw an unmarked car in the apartment complex where the family lives. It was the same kind of car that stopped Ramos and detained him Sept. 19. He was sent to Tacoma before the family had a chance to pay bail or seek his release before hearings.

Julia Luna, Ramos’ cousin, said the attorney defending Ramos believes deportation is likely. Ramos, who has been in the United States for 18 years, is single and has no children, a disadvantage in the deportation matrix.

“We are praying a lot for him. We ask everyone to pray for him,” Luna said in Spanish. “He has been a good man all this time, a guy who works during the week and goes to church to help on the weekends.”

According to Amparo Piedrahita, who leads Hispanic ministry of St. John Parish, Ramos is the kind of person who puts others first.

“Everyone in the parish is praying for Rosendo,” Piedrahita said. “Every person who knows him knows he is a really good person, always willing to help.”

Franciscan Father Jorge Hernández, pastor of St. John the Baptist, said he is sad about the detention.

“I tell all the immigrant community to be really careful every day, to be good citizens and follow the law, because the political situation and the race division make the situation more and more difficult every day,” Father Hernández said. “Learn the new laws, know your rights, make a family plan.”

Father Hernández said that Christians are called to be sensitive and open to other human beings, seeing more than the color of the skin. Division needs to stop, even within the church, he explained.

“We have to welcome everybody,” the priest said. “We have to have Jesus on our hearts and see with his eyes. Please let the Holy Spirit of God lead your life and see we are all the same.”

Pope Francis and Archbishop Alexander Sample both have said that the church loves migrants no matter their legal status.