NEW HAVEN - A Norwalk mother of 4, who is facing deportation, is still using some divine intervention, in hopes her plight changes.
Nury Chavarria has been staying inside the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal Church in New Haven, where she has received sanctuary since last Thursday. That was the day she was supposed to depart the United States on a flight from Newark, NJ to her native Guatemala.
A source familiar with Chavarria's case says if she had complied with a federal immigration judge's deportation order back in 1998, she likely would have been able to gain legal re-admittance to the U.S. Instead, she is considered a fugitive.
Chavarria, now a mother of four, said that two decades ago, when she was ordered to depart the country, she couldn't do it because of her young son.
"He needed services," she said. Now 21, her oldest child battles cerebral palsy. "He started walking when he was four years old," The mother of two boys and two girls said.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement had granted her one your extensions to stay in the U.S. for seven straight years, until last month. And she's confused why there was a change.
Chavarria noted that she has "no criminal record. I came here in 1993. I pay taxes."
Many ask why, after 24 years, Chavarria never became a citizen. She says she never applied for citizenship because she wouldn't qualify because she has never been married to an American citizen.
ICE says she is a fugitive as result of not boarding a flight for Guatemala on July 20. She bristles at that label. "I'm not a fugitive. They know I'm here. I still wear an ankle bracelet, with a fully charged battery."
Despite President Trump's edict to be tough on the undocumented, Chavarria is hopeful he will have compassion.
"Not for me, just for my kids," she said. "I'm not going to live without them."
ICE says they direct their personnel to avoid conducting enforcement at sensitive locations, including places of worship unless they have prior approval from an appropriate supervisory official or in the event of exigent circumstances. The locations specified in the guidance include schools, places of worship, and hospitals.