Mother of 4 facing deportation takes refuge in church

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A mother of four who has lived in the U.S. for 24 years is refusing to abide by a deportation order to her native Guatemala and has taken sanctuary in a Connecticut church.

Nury Chavarria, of Norwalk, was supposed to board a plane on Thursday but instead has gone to the Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal church in New Haven.

Immigration officials cannot arrest her on church property.

In a news conference outside the church, her youngest child, 9-year-old Hayley, said her mother is not a criminal and she loves her. She appealed to President Trump not to separate her family.

Chavarria's children are all American citizens. Her oldest child, who is 21, has cerebral palsy.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is among those showing support to Chavarria.

The Democrat visited Chavarria on Thursday night inside the church.

He says the attempt to deport her shows President Donald Trump's administration is not being truthful when it says its immigration policies are focused on "the bad guys."

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

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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