Dozens gather for service in support of man who sought sanctuary - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Dozens gather for service in support of man who sought sanctuary

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An undocumented man from Meriden is fighting his deportation by seeking sanctuary in a church in New Haven (WFSB) An undocumented man from Meriden is fighting his deportation by seeking sanctuary in a church in New Haven (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

Dozens of people gathered in New Haven on Wednesday in support of an undocumented immigrant seeking refuge inside a church.

A special service was held at the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church, where Marco Reyes has sought refuge from deportation.

For more than a week, Reyes has not only prayed inside the church, but it's where he's been spending every moment of his life.

“I love my family, I love my children, it's that important to me,” Reyes said.

Right now he is separated from his family.

“It's been emotional, it's been very difficult, but you know we're glad that at least my dad is staying here in the church and we get to see him every day,” said Evelyn Reyes.

On Wednesday, Evelyn and Reyes’ two other children and his wife Fanny joined Dozens of supporters at a service in his honor.

During this difficult time, the outpouring of love means a lot.

“We're extremely grateful that everybody comes here and shows us a lot of support for the family, and we're blessed,” Reyes said.

Critics say Marco is breaking the law. He illegally moved to the U.S. from Ecuador in 1997 and received his first deportation order eight years ago.

He had been granted stays until he was told he has to leave this summer.

The Reyes family hopes Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials will reopen Marco’s case, but until then he'll continue to sleep in the same building where he worships, working hard to overcome the most difficult situation of his life.

The Reyes family says they continue to have hope in part because of the situation Norwalk mother Nury Chavarria who did the exact same thing last month by seeking sanctuary in another New Haven church, rather than face deportation to Guatemala.

ICE has reopened her case, and the Reyes family hopes to achieve the same goal.

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