NEW HAVEN -- One mother’s life changed in the blink of an eye after she received the news last month that she would be deported back to her home country in Guatemala.
Her story has caught the attention of politicians, activists and community members who has been standing by her so she can stay.
Nury Chavarria, 43, of Norwalk moved to the United States in 1993. She has established a life for herself; her four kids were born here and she has kept a stable job as a housekeeper.
However, it was on June 21 when she was told out of the blue she would have to go back to Guatemala or face the consequences. Her daughter, Haley Chavarria is only nine years old. She is your typical kid with spunk and energy.
What sets Haley apart from others is she has a story to tell. Her mother, Nury moved here for a better life.
“We have no opportunities like here,” said Nury.
Nury has raised four kids, one of them was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and it has not been easy. Nury’s oldest child, Elvin needs all the help he can get with his disability. Her attorney said he can be an independent person, but also dependent for several tasks.
It made it even more difficult especially the day she found out she would have to be deported and leave her kids here.
“I was choking and crying. Haley’s crying with me and I can’t understand. I can’t believe it happened because I’m not a criminal. I’m not a bad person,” added Nury.
Nury said she does not understand why after 24 years, she would be asked to leave now. With no criminal background and fully cooperating with ICE, Nury said she feels helpless. She has even agreed to wear a tracking device on her ankle so ICE can monitor her every move.
“If I don’t take my kids with me, I’m not with them. I’m not the same person,” added Nury.
A press conference was held in New Haven where Nury’s attorney addressed the public along with the mayor and members of the board of aldermen. The room was filled with community members that held up signs to show support.
On Wednesday, Blumenthal released the following statement following the press conference:
“My heart breaks for Nury and her four U.S. citizen children—a family that will be torn apart due to a cold and callous decision by the Trump administration to remove all reason and rationality from its immigration enforcement priorities. I spoke directly to ICE leadership today presenting clear and compelling facts in this case and seeking a reasonable request for reconsideration, yet the Trump administration turned a blind eye. Unfortunately, this tragedy is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Every day my office is contacted by new families from across Connecticut—individuals who have committed no crime, parents of citizen children, hard-working neighbors who have reported dutifully to ICE year after year who are now being told to deport immediately under Trump’s new policies. America is better than this, and history will not judge these actions kindly. I commend the advocates and the Chavarria family for their bravery and tenacity in the face of injustice. We have lost this fight, but we must sustain our outrage and advocacy until reason is restored. And ultimately, we must achieve comprehensive immigration reform to provide lasting change to our broken immigration system,”
Senator Murphy also released a statement:
“I'm heartbroken for the Chavarria family,” said Murphy. “Nury is a hard-worker and the sole caretaker of her four U.S. citizen children. She’s not who we should be focusing our limited law enforcement time and effort on deporting. Trump's backwards immigration policies make us less safe. We're better than this.”
As for Haley, she said she just wants her mother by her side like every other child.
“She’s been with me everywhere like at the Fourth of July, my birthday and every other event,” said Haley.
The support for Nury went from the inside of the press conference room to the New Haven Green where strangers gave hugs to the family as they sent a message out about fairness and equality.
Nury has a ticket to board a plane Thursday in New Jersey for 5 p.m., and there is no time table for her return.