Utah mother facing deportation seeks sanctuary at SLC church

SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah mother was set to be deported back to her home country of Honduras Tuesday, until she sought sanctuary at a local church.

Vicky Chavez has lived in the United States since 2014, when she fled Honduras due to economic and social upheaval that she said had taken place. She took sanctuary at the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City Tuesday, the day she was set to be deported by ICE.

“I came to the U.S. fleeing domestic violence, rape, and being persecuted by my daughter’s father,” said Chavez. “Coming to the United States meant safety from a man who suggested that he knows people who could harm my family.”

Community organizers were planning on gathering at the Salt Lake City International Airport Tuesday in opposition to the deportation. Instead, Chavez went to the church to seek asylum.

“We hate what ICE is doing to our undocumented neighbors and friends,” said Kristin Knippenburg, member of Red de Solidaridad. “ICE assumes that when they order these families to leave, they will do so just as quietly, just as anonymously, and we’re ensuring that isn’t the case.”

Details regarding when Chavez would face deportation after staying at the church were unknown at the time of this report. For updates on this story, visit fox13now.com, or watch Fox 13 News.