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Norwalk Mother Of Four Facing Deportation Finds Support In Church Sanctuary

Nury Chavarria and her two daughters, 9-year-old Hayley and 18-year-old Lindsay, a recent high school graduate. Photo Credit: GoFundMe
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

NORWALk, Conn. — Nury Chavarria, the Norwalk mother of four who has taken sanctuary in a New Haven church to avoid deportation, told The Hour that she takes comfort in knowing that she has a large number of supporters.

Inside the church, Chavarria said she now has a lot of people around her to help her and her family as they fight an order for her to return to her native Guatemala, The Hour said.

Chavarria moved into Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal Church with her 9-year-old daughter, Hayley, last Thursday instead of boarding a plane to New Haven.

She has received visits and support from Gov. Dannel Malloy, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal as well as New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.

And on Sunday, over 200 people rallied at the church to show their support and to vow to fight for her, according to the New Haven Register.

An emotional Chavarria briefly thanked the crowd, speaking from behind a fence guarded by volunteers, the Register said.

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

Chavarria came to the U.S. in 1993 at the age of 19. She applied for asylum but was denied. She has shown up for annual check-ins with immigration officials since 2011. She was given the go-ahead to remain in the U.S. every year, until this June, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials ordered her deportation.

In the interview with The Hour, Chavarria said she might stay in the church for many weeks as her lawyers work on her behalf. But she said she made the hard decision to seek sanctuary stay close to her 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 Hayley.

She has no criminal record, works as a housekeeper, and pays taxes.

The nonprofit group Parents Together has set up a GoFundMe page to gather financial support for the family. Visit for more information.

Click here for the story at The Hour, and click here for the story at the New Haven Register.

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