Immigrant mother who sought sanctuary in church granted deportation stay

A Connecticut housekeeper and mother of four who sought sanctuary in a New Haven church has been granted an emergency stay of a deportation order that would have returned her to her native Guatemala.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said Wednesday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had agreed to take another look at Nury Chavarria's case and a U.S. District Court judge issued the stay. Details of the stay were not immediately released.

"There was never a rational justification for Nury Chavarria to have been threatened with deportation and separated from her children," Malloy said, "and I applaud this decision by ICE and the court to allow her to continue living and working in the United States with her family."

The 43-year-old Chavarria, of Norwalk, had been fitted with an ankle bracelet last month and was supposed to be flown out of the United States last week. Instead, she fled to the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal Church.

Chavarria entered the U.S. in 1993, but was ordered deported by a federal immigration judge five years later. Fox61 reported that if she had complied with that order, she likely would have been able to gain legal re-admittance to the U.S.

Chavarria told Fox61 that she couldn't comply with the order due to the medical needs of her oldest son, now 21, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Despite being denied asylum, Chavarria had been granted yearly deportation stays and work permits since 2009. It was not immediately clear why her status changed this year.

Click for more from

The Associated Press contributed to this report.