NORWALK, Connecticut - A mother of four who has lived in the U.S. for 24 years was granted an emergency stay on Wednesday after she took sanctuary inside a Connecticut church to avoid a deportation order to her native Guatemala.
Nury Chavarria, of Norwalk, was supposed to board a plane last Thursday. But instead, she went to the Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal church in New Haven.
In a news conference last week outside the church, her youngest child, 9-year-old Hayley, said her mother is not a criminal and that she loves her.
"I want her to stay because I love her so much," Hayley Chavarria said. "And my message to President Trump is, don't separate my family."
Chavarria's children are all American citizens. Her oldest child, who is 21, has cerebral palsy.
She is being deported, not for a violent crime, but for coming to this country without legal papers.
"In 2015, I was not a priority for them," Nury Chavarria said. "And I came a year after, 2016. Everything is fine, but not this time."
She had been told to leave, but her four children are staying. The stay was granted in court in Hartford allowing her to remain in the country while new evidence is heard in her case.
ICE has agreed not to continue the removal efforts.
Nury is the latest example of a change in policy by the Trump Administration.
"I said at the beginning we are going to get the bad ones, the really bad ones," Trump said. "We're going to get them out, and that's exactly what we're doing."
U.S. immigration officials had said last Friday they consider Chavarria to be a fugitive, but they acknowledge they have a policy that restricts them from entering a house of worship except in extraordinary circumstances.