News

Chavarria prepares for prolonged stay in church sanctuary

Posted: Updated:
NEW HAVEN -

A Norwalk mother defying immigration authorities says she's prepared to remain holed up in a New Haven church to avoid deportation for weeks or months.

Nury Chavarria has been at Inglesia de Dios Pentacostal since last week, where family, friends and supporters rallied Sunday night for a vigil and to call on authorities to allow her to stay. Last week, the governor, Connecticut's two senators and a local congresswoman all voiced their opposition to her removal.

"I left Guatemala because I don't have any good opportunities there," Chavarria says. "It has a lot of crime, rebels."

Typically, immigration agents don't arrest people inside churches, but they technically could.

Chavarria, a mother of four, initially defied a deportation order back in 1998. After a series of one-year extensions, immigration authorities finally ordered her to leave.

She took a detour last Thursday and skipped the scheduled flight back to her native country. She received sanctuary at the church, where she says she's prepared to stay until the government agrees to re-examine her case.

But immigration authorities say that after an "exhaustive review" of her case, Chavarria must comply with the deportation order. Her lawyer is trying to convince a judge to reopen her asylum case.

New Haven is known as one of Connecticut's sanctuary cities.

  • Connecticut SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Your January 2019 Storm Photos

    Your January 2019 Storm Photos

    Sunday, January 20 2019 12:14 PM EST2019-01-20 17:14:51 GMT
    We want to see what the storm brought to your area. Send us your photos and you could see them on air or on News12.com.
    We want to see what the storm brought to your area. Send us your photos and you could see them on air or on News12.com.
  • 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards

    24th annual Critics' Choice Awards

    "Roma" was the top winner at the Critics' Choice Awards, winning best picture, foreign language film and a pair of individual honors for director Alfonso Cuaron.
    "Roma" was the top winner at the Critics' Choice Awards, winning best picture, foreign language film and a pair of individual honors for director Alfonso Cuaron.
  • Your Photos: National Dress Up Your Pet Day

    Your Photos: National Dress Up Your Pet Day

    Got a snapshot of Sparky in a suit or Fido in a fedora? We want to see!
    Got a snapshot of Sparky in a suit or Fido in a fedora? We want to see!
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."