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Nury Chevarría sought refuge in a church, moments before boarding an airplane that would deport her to Guatemala. Source: CNN
Nury Chevarría sought refuge in a church, moments before boarding an airplane that would deport her to Guatemala. Source: CNN

Undocumented immigrant gets stay of deportation after seeking shelter in a church in New Heaven

Her lawyers have been granted an "emergency stay," while a court reassesses her case.

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May 27th, 2022

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Nury Chavarria, 43, and mother of four, was on her way to New Haven Airport to take a flight back to Guatemala, when at the last minute she decided to change her mind and fled to the Pentecostal Church of God to seek refuge while activists and lawyers took her case.

Chavarria entered the United States as an undocumented immigrant in 1993, fleeing violence in Guatemala. According to what Kica Matos, lawyer and director of Migrant Rights Center for Community Change told NTN24, "when she first came, she applied for asylum and the immigration system granted it to her mother, her father and her sister, but not to her".

The immigrant has since worked cleaning houses to survive, and has four children, the oldest of whom suffers from cerebral palsy. In 1998 and 1999, she received deportation orders, but did not comply with them. In 2010, she was given a one-year stay of removal on humanitarian grounds, which she renewed consecutively until this year, when, during her check-up visit with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office, he was informed that she should leave the country.

Her lawyers have ensured that the circumstances of her case changed due to new immigration measures introduced by the new administration, according to the Hartford Courant.

According to Marisol Orihuela, supervising lawyer of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale University Law School, a group of lawyers was organized along with Chavarría's defense lawyer, Glenn Formica, to try to put a case in her favor. After just one hour of filing motions in the Hartford District Court on Wednesday, lawyers received a stay-safe authorization, while the Court assessed her case.

The lack of a criminal record by Chavarría has been one of the most important arguments for her defenders. Also, the governor of Connecticut, Dannel P. Malloy, pronounced in favor of the immigrant:

"There was never a rational justification for Nury Chavarria to have been threatened with deportation and separated from her children, and I applaud this decision by ICE and the court to allow her to continue living and working in the United States with her family,'' the officer said. "Immigrants are vital to the fabric of our nation. Rather than focusing on those living peacefully within our borders, our attention should be on those who do harm to others."

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