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Hundreds turn out in New Haven to support mother fighting deportation

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NEW HAVEN -- Hundreds from all over the state came in droves to support Nury Chavarria.

On Thursday, Chavarria declined orders from ICE to travel back to Guatemala, her native country. Instead, she was granted asylum inside Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal Church.

All through the night the crown sang songs praising and supporting Nury Chavarria.

What is a sanctuary church and is it legal? 

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp spoke at the event urging congress to pass immigration reform so that similar situation won't happen again.

She also praised the city in its efforts to protect those in most need.

"If things are not appropriately done on your behalf, we stand for the values of this country and it's really time that this country stands for its own values," says Mayor Harp.

Chavarria learned Wednesday that she wouldn’t be allowed to stay in the U.S., despite having lived here for the past 24 years.

Chavarria hasn’t been back to her home country of Guatemala since she first came to the United States back in 1993. She applied for asylum but was denied, and then began regular check-ins with ICE in the past few years. Chavarria said she never qualified for citizenship, but it is something she hopes for in the future.

"If someday I qualify, sure. I would do it ," said Chavarria.

Prior to Thursday, she cooperated with ICE ahead of her deportation, wearing an ankle bracelet that's been tracking her every move.

On Thursday, Gov. Malloy visited Chavarria prior to a press conference held outside the church.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both Democrats, asked federal immigration authorities for a stay of deportation on humanitarian grounds, but that was denied.

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