Mother facing deportation seeks sanctuary at SLC church

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - The community is standing in solidarity with a Utah mother who was ordered to return to her home country.

Vicky Chavez was scheduled to take a plane to Honduras Tuesday night. A few hours before she was scheduled to depart, it was announced she would be taking sanctuary at First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City in hopes immigration enforcement will not pursue her there.

Chavez was scheduled to be the second Utah mother departed in the last couple of months. Rallies and events had been held for Maria Santiago Garcia in December 2017.

Chavez fled domestic violence and civil unrest in Honduras in 2014. She has been trying to get asylum in the United States ever since.

"Coming to the United States meant safety from a man who suggested that he knows people who could harm my family," Chavez says.

She had been checking in with ICE but was told recently that she had to leave the country.

Hear from community members supporting Vicky

"Unfortunately, ICE doesn't give you many options once they say it's time to go. Your option is -- do I stay, and further incriminate myself? Or do I go and try to pursue a legal battle while I’m in a legal battle where I'm from. So, she doesn't have a lot of options,” said Amy Dominguez with Unidad Immigrante.

The First Unitarian Church says it is the first church in state to offer sanctuary to a person who faces deportation. 

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