Norwalk mom seeks refuge from deportation at New Haven church

Activists gather at a news conference as Nury Chevarria seeks refuge from deportation at a New Haven church (WTNH / Serena Marshall)

NORWALK and NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Norwalk mother that was scheduled to be deported from the United States Thursday afternoon has sought refuge in a New Haven church.

2017 07 20 nury chavarria hayley sign Norwalk mom seeks refuge from deportation at New Haven church
Hayley Chavarria, 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 Chavarria has lived in the U.S. for the past 24 years after coming from Guatemala. She has four children who were born here. One suffers from cerebral palsy, while another is just nine years old. She works as a housekeeper and has never been arrested.

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Nury and Hayley Chavarria pack bags as Nury prepares to be deported back to Guatemala (WTNH / Serena Marshall)

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

A rally was held for her and her family on Wednesday on the New Haven Green.

“I came here for a better life and, you know, 24 years later I have my four kids,” Chavarria said. “I [was] always working. I pay taxes. I [have] been here busy with my kids. [I] help them.”

2017 07 20 nury chavarria hayley pack2 Norwalk mom seeks refuge from deportation at New Haven church
Nury Chavarria packs her suitcases as she prepares to be deported back to Guatemala Thursday (WTNH / Serena Marshall)

This story is getting a lot of reactions on both sides.

Some feel Chavarria should go back to Guatemala and come back to the U.S. through the proper channels.

So far, efforts to keep her in the U.S. have failed.

Midday Thursday, Khaalid Walls, Spokesperson for ICE, issued the following statement:

Nury Chavarria was allowed to voluntarily depart by a federal immigration judge in 1998, and failed to comply, rendering her subject to final order of removal in 1999. In 2010, the agency deferred her removal for one year on humanitarian grounds.

As a current exercise of discretion and after an exhaustive review of her case, the agency has allowed her to remain free from custody while finalizing her timely departure plans. The agency will continue to closely monitor her case to ensure compliance.


2017 07 20 nury chavarria hayley serena Norwalk mom seeks refuge from deportation at New Haven church
Hayley Chavarria with News 8’s Serena Marshall (WTNH / Serena Marshall)

Her youngest child, Hayley, is only 9-years-old, but she is a U.S. citizen, like her three siblings. She rubbed her head Thursday afternoon and expressed her sadness.

I did everything I could to make her stay but now we officially lost.”

Now, Hayley is afraid of not just losing her mother, but losing the care of her older sister.

If she doesn’t stay some people might try to take me away and put me with a new family. [Does that scare you?] Yeah. And Lindsey, my older sister, is trying to defend me so she can be my guardian; and I’m really hoping that happens.

Nury told News 8 she is afraid for the health of her children, saying, “What scares me they don’t know how to live by themselves, not ever.”

Nury said that even faced with deportation and separation from her kids, she would do it all over again, because of the life she was able to give her four children.

The law firm representing Nury Chavarria ahead of her deportation order issued the following statement late Thursday afternoon:

On behalf of Formica Williams, P.C., we have been informed that Nury Chavarria has opted to seek refuge in a local church through sanctuary. As this case has now moved to the activist phase, we have moved all communications to Kica Matos, regarding Nury’s sanctuary. We will continue to represent Nury before Immigrations Custom Enforcement (ICE) for any applications on relief that may become available but she is retaining new counsel relating to issues regarding sanctuary.

On Thursday night, Senator Blumenthal released a statement about Nury Chavarria’s sanctuary:

As a former federal prosecutor and state Attorney General I believe in effective and fair enforcement of the law in accordance with due process. At the same time, my heart breaks for Nury Chavarria and her family and my sense of fairness is outraged by the decision to deport a hardworking mother of four U.S. citizen children who has lived here for 24 years without any hint of criminal wrongdoing. Her plight is a symptom of Trump’s cold and callous immigration policies that lack all sense of reason and rationality,” Blumenthal said. “I will continue to explore all opportunities to assist her and her family. I remain committed to comprehensive immigration reform to provide lasting and significant change to this badly broken system.”

Governor Malloy visited the church where Nury is seeking refuge on Thursday.

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