Dozens of people rallied outside the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church in New Haven Friday to show their support for a father who has called the church home since last December.
Nelson Pinos sought sanctuary more than nine months ago to avoid deportation to his native Ecuador. He told NBC Connecticut he came to the US in 1992 for a better life and has lived in Connecticut for nearly 20 years.
Supporters are demanding Pinos be free to leave the church. They argue Immigration and Customs Enforcement should grant Pinos a stay of removal as his case is being reviewed.
“It’s extremely important to us, beyond important, because it’s been 281 days. It’s been way too long. We’re stressed. We’re tired, we’re tired of waiting. It’s been too long, something needs to be done,” said Kelly Pinos, Nelson Pinos’ daughter.
Today immigration officials reaffirmed that there is a removal order against Pinos, who they consider an immigration fugitive.
They say that is order is still in effect even though he remains in a “sensitive location.”