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Norwalk mom spends 2nd night in church sanctuary

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Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal has granted Nury Chavarria refuge from immigration officials. Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal has granted Nury Chavarria refuge from immigration officials.
NEW HAVEN -

The Norwalk mother of four who was due for deportation Thursday is spending a second night at a New Haven church that offered her refuge.

Nury Chavarria took a detour away from Newark Liberty International Airport and holed up at the Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal. Ostensibly, if she stays there, she will be safe from immigration officials. But that is an unofficial policy, not law, and it's possible that authorities could seek a warrant to arrest her on church grounds.

Authorities could also press charges against church officials for sheltering Chavarria.

But Chavarria is not without some high-profile support. A day after the governor visited her at the church, Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal arrived.

"I believe people should obey the law, and laws should be effectively enforced," Blumenthal said, citing his background in law enforcement. "But what we have here is a humanitarian nightmare and a deep miscarriage of justice."

Volunteers say the experience has left Chavarria traumatized, and she did not speak with reporters Friday.

"As a U.S. senator, I am never going to advise someone to break the law," Murphy said. "But I am a human being first, and this is morally repugnant."

The officials blamed President Donald Trump and his immigration policy outright for the standoff. At least one of them called on the president to visit Chavarria in person.

Chavarria says she has no criminal record, works as a housekeeper and pays taxes. She says she thought that would allow her to remain in the United States despite the Trump administration's crackdown on immigration. The president has said the deportation focus would be on criminals and "bad hombres."

As News 12 Connecticut has reported, Gov. Dannel Malloy met with Chavarria at the church Thursday evening. Outside, he addressed reporters and slammed the president's immigration plan.

"If what the attorney general says, and the president says, and the secretary of Homeland Security says...that we're only after the bad guys -- and that's not true -- then everything they say could potentially be a lie," Malloy said.

In March, Malloy released an information packet on steps families can take on their own, without the help of an attorney, to develop a child care contingency plan in case parents are deported.

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