Connecticut mother staying in church to avoid deportation

She’s never been arrested and she pays her taxes

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A defiant Norwalk mom is dodging deportation inside a New Haven church Friday.The mother of four is refusing orders to fly back to her native Guatemala.

The federal government demanded Nury Chavarria get on a plane back to Guatemala on Thursday. Instead, she came to this church. She is defying federal law and President Donald Trump, and she is being very open about it.

Chavarria says she has been honest about her situation for years. She did not have proper documents when she came to this country at age 19. She is raising four kids while working as a housekeeper. She checks in with ICE every year. Until this year, they let her stay. She’s never been arrested and she pays her taxes.

Related: Norwalk mom seeks refuge from deportation at New Haven church

But this year, ICE told her to buy a ticket to Guatemala and fitted her with an ankle monitor until she left. She was supposed to leave Thursday evening on a 5:00 flight. Instead she came to Iglesia de dios Pentecostal Church in Fair Haven for sanctuary.

Her supporters held press conferences out here yesterday, and her 9-year-old daughter Hayley had a direct plea to President Trump.

“She’s not a criminal. She has a positive attitude about everything. I want her to stay because I love her so much. My message to President Trump is don’t separate my family,” said Hayley.

There is no legal right to sanctuary in a church. ICE agents could burst in there right now and legally arrest Chavarria and everyone else for helping her. The question is will they, or is raiding a church too much bad publicity?

News 8 did some digging and discovered some startling facts about Guatemala. It certainly provides a quick snap shot of the country Chavarria left behind.

Original Story: Norwalk mother to be deported to Guatemala on Thursday

A 2016 state department report says Guatemala had one of the highest violent crime rates in Central America. An average of 100 murders were reported per week.

Guatemala has become a major hub for drug trafficking. The country sits in between Columbia and the United States making it one of the world’s busiest intersections for illegal drugs.

Late Friday morning, ICE officials issued a new statement on Chavarria’s case.

Hayley Chevarria, daughter of Nury Chavarria, shows News 8 the sign she made asking federal officials to allow her to stay in the United States (WTNH / Serena Marshall)
Nury and Hayley Chavarria pack bags as Nury prepares to be deported back to Guatemala (WTNH / Serena Marshall)