Undocumented Meriden man still receiving sanctuary in New Haven church

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MERIDEN --  Undocumented Meriden man is still receiving sanctuary in a New Haven church

An undocumented immigrant living in Connecticut for two decades, was supposed to self deport a couple of months ago. But, instead of complying, he is still living in a New Haven church.

"It's very difficult," said Marco Antonio Reyes Alvarez, 45. The married father of three, has been living in the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church since August 8th - the date he was scheduled to be deported back to his native Ecuador.

"I don't know how long I am staying here, but I have a lot of faith in God," said Reyes Alvarez.

In Connecticut for 20 years, working in construction, he has kept himself busy the last 11 weeks.

"This is the shower," he says proudly of a shower that he built in about a week.

"It's easy for me," he said.

The sanctuary is very special to Marco. He spends a lot of time in here.

"Every Sunday morning people say 'hey Marco, how you doing? Give me a hug".' That's unbelievable," he said.

And his affinity for this space is also due in part to an adjustable lectern he built.

Last week, he again petitioned the Board of Immigration Appeals, requesting another stay of removal, which was denied.

"I think every night with my family," said Marco.

But, if he leaves the church, ICE says they will arrest him.