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Norwalk Mother Scheduled To Be Deported Takes Sanctuary In New Haven Church

Gov. Dannel Malloy meets with Nury Chavarria at Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal church in New Haven on Thursday. Chavarria took refuge in the church after she was ordered to be deported. Photo Credit: Gov. Dannel Malloy via Twitter
Nury Chavarria, with her daughter Hayley, left her native Guatemala in 1993. Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut screenshot
Nury Chavarria, a Norwalk mother of four children, has been in the U.S. since 1993. Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut screenshot

NORWALK, Conn. — A Norwalk mother of four who lost her battle to remain in the U.S. and was scheduled to be deported Thursday has taken sanctuary in a church in New Haven, according to the Hour.

Nury Chavarria, 43, was scheduled to be sent back to her native Guatemala after a bid to delay her deportation failed. She left Guatemala 24 years ago at the age of 19, seeking asylum.

Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal in Fair Haven will provide a temporary sanctuary to Chavarria, the Hour reported. Pastor Hector Otero opened the church to her after she was told to leave the country, according to the Hour.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy met with Chavarria along with her lawyers and supporters Thursday evening in the New Haven church. 

Related story: Norwalk mother of four to be deported despite senators' efforts

A group of 30 churches in the New Haven area had been told that they could not offer sanctuary to individuals if they intended to keep immigration officials from finding someone. But they can protect themselves if they publicly declare that they are offering sanctuary and name the person they are protecting, rather than try to hide them, according to the Hour.

A 2011 Homeland Security memo said that locations such as churches and schools were sensitive locations,  and that immigration officers should not enter with authorization from a higher official, the Hour said.

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) had called on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency Wednesday to urge a delay in Chavarria's deportation.

Chavarria is a single mother of four U.S.-borne children — a 21-year-old with cerebral palsy, an 18-year-old recent high school graduate and a 15-year-old and 9-year-old — who could become wards of the state. 

Lawyers are fighting to help Chavarria, whose application for asylum was denied when she arrived in the U.S.

She remained in the country but has no criminal record, works as a housekeeper, pays taxes and has been checking in yearly with immigration officials since 2011.

But at her June check-in, Chavarria was told by ICE officials to pack up and leave the U.S. within five weeks. With the help of attorneys, she is appealing the decision on humanitarian grounds so she can care for her children.

Click here to read the Hour story.

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