Responding to the case of Nury Chavarria, a Guatemalan mother of four U.S.-born children who on July 26 was granted an emergency stay of her deportation order, the League of Women Voters of Connecticut (LWVCT) expresses concern at the impending deportation of undocumented immigrants who, like Ms. Chavarria, have no criminal record. While an immigration court has agreed to reopen Ms. Chavarria’s case, other undocumented immigrants are in the same situation, facing deportation although they have no history of criminal activity.
In a policy position adopted in April 2008, the National Board of LWV of the United States declared that it does not support deportation of unauthorized immigrants who have no history of criminal activity.
Ms. Chavarria is a resident of Norwalk. LWV Norwalk member Lucia C. Rilling, wife of Norwalk’s mayor, said, “as a nation made up of immigrants who have come to live the American Dream as our forefathers did, Ms. Nury Chavarria is no exception. Nury came to America to escape the violence of her motherland. In the last 24 years she has demonstrated herself to be law abiding, and like many women she is a hardworking mother doing the very best she can. Nury’s situation proves the need for immediate and serious immigration reform. My husband, Mayor Harry W. Rilling, and I stand ready to do whatever we possibly can to help her and her family.”
So far in 2017, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is on track to arrest more than twice as many noncriminal undocumented immigrants as it did in 2016. Although the number of deportations is marginally reduced compared to last year, more noncriminals are being deported than previously.
The League position reads in full as follows.
Unauthorized Immigrants Already in the United States
In achieving overall policy goals, the League supports a system for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status, including citizenship, by paying taxes, learning English, studying civics and meeting other relevant criteria. While policy reforms, including a path to legal status, remain unachieved, the League does not support deporting unauthorized immigrants who have no history of criminal activity.
League of Women Voters of Connecticut