© 2022 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Norwalk Mother Addresses Public for First Time Since Claiming Sanctuary

Nury Chavarria waves to her supporters from behind a fence on the grounds of the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal Church in New Haven on Sunday. It was the first time Chavarria addressed the public since claiming sanctuary in the church last week.
Cassandra Basler
/
WSHU
Nury Chavarria waves to her supporters from behind a fence on the grounds of the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal Church in New Haven on Sunday. It was the first time Chavarria addressed the public since claiming sanctuary in the church last week.

A Sunday night vigil for Nury Chavarria drew hundreds, including Mayors Harry Rilling of Norwalk and Toni Harp of New Haven, to Igelsia de Dios Pentecostal Church in New Haven. They came to support the Norwalk mother of four who is living in the church to avoid deportation.

Mayor Rilling says he promised Chavarria that his city would support her and her family.

“We are going to be working with the Board of Education, with our social services agencies to make sure that her family can stay in their home, can stay in school, can have food on the table.”

Chavarria sought sanctuary from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, instead of following orders to fly to her native Guatemala last Thursday.

Chavarria has four U.S.-born children, including a 9-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old son with cerebral palsy. Mayor Toni Harp of New Haven says she disagrees with ICE’s decision that could break up Chavarria’s family because she has no criminal record and has been caring for her U.S.-born children.

“In Connecticut we value acceptance...and tolerance…and patience. And we certainly don’t send people more than 1,000 miles away from their home and family without a legitimate reason.”

Chavarria had been checking in with ICE after overstaying deportation orders in the 1990s. ICE had allowed her to stay on humanitarian grounds to care for her children.

Supporters cheered as Chavarria thanked them Sunday night.

“Thank you to everyone for being here. I am very grateful for your support I am grateful for all the people who have been by my side at this time. I have come to know more people than I've known before and I am grateful for everyone in New Haven. Thank you."

It was the first time Chavarria addressed the public since she sought sanctuary at the church last week.

If she leaves church grounds, she could be picked up by ICE officials. Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy says agents won’t take action in so-called sensitive areas, like hospitals and churches.

Copyright 2017 WSHU

Cassandra Basler is a radio reporter and editor at Connecticut Public. She has covered juvenile justice, the opioid crisis, immigration, social justice and inequity. You can find her reporting in New Haven and Fairfield counties. She previously worked at WSHU Public Radio and her work has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Here & Now.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content