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Meriden Dad Takes Sanctuary In New Haven Church To Fight Deportation

Marco Reyes of Meriden is fighting a deportation order by taking sanctuary in a New Haven church. Photo Credit: Facebook
Nury Chavarria of Norwalk, with her two daughters, last month was granted a stay in her deportation order and was allowed to remain in the U.S. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A man from Meriden facing deportation is making national headlines by following in the footsteps of a Norwalk woman. 

Nury Chavarria, a Norwalk mother of four, successfully fought to stay in the U.S. after she was ordered deported to her native Guatemala. She was granted a stay and was allowed to remain in the U.S. after taking sanctuary at Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal Church in New Haven last month.     

Now Marco Reyes, a father of three from Meriden, has taken sanctuary in the another New Haven church in hopes of achieving the same goal. He had been ordered to return Tuesday to his native Guatemala by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. 

But now Reyes, who has lived in the U.S. since 1997, is now inside First and Summerfield United Methodist Church with his family, according to NBC Connecticut. 

Reyes' problems with immigration began in 2007, when he was vacationing with a group and accidentally crossed into Canada, NBC Connecticut said.

Related story: Norwalk Mom Granted Stay Of Deportation, Allowed To Stay In U.S.

He was apprehended by immigration officials and issued an order of removal in 2009, NBC Connecticut said. 

Reyes has been regularly checking in with ICE and pursuing legal options and appeals, but was ultimately ordered to leave the U.S. by Tuesday, when he sought sanctuary instead.

He has a powerful ally in U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is fighting for Reyes to get a stay in the order.

“There must be fair and effective enforcement of all laws in accordance with due process. ... But strong law enforcement must also reflect humane and compassionate values, including the unbreakable bond between a parent and child,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

“I am outraged and heartbroken by the arbitrary and callous decision to deport Marco Reyes. His plight today is a symptom of [President] Trump’s cruel and inhumane immigration policies that lack all sense of reason and rationality," Blumenthal said. 

"Marco is a hardworking father and husband who has called Connecticut home for two decades without any criminal wrongdoing," the senator said. "He faces serious threats to his life should he be deported. I will continue to explore all opportunities to assist Marco and his family.”

At least two residents of Fairfield County are battling orders of deportation:

  • Jung "Sarah" Courville of Norwalk, who has been married to a U.S. citizen for 14 years and has two U.S.-borne children, one of whom is disabled, has been ordered to return to her native Korea.
  • New Fairfield resident Joel Colindres, 33, has been married to his wife, Samantha, a U.S. citizen, since 2010 and has two U.S.-borne children. He has been ordered deported to his native Guatemala.

Click here to read the story at the NBC Connecticut website.

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