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Asylum denied for mother staying at Salt Lake church

Vicky Chavez, a Utah mother of two who is facing deportation to Honduras, speaks in the First Unitarian Church in downtown Salt Lake City where she has taken shelter since January. (Credit: Sean Estes, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman who has spent six months in a Salt Lake Church has been denied asylum.

The First Unitarian Church has been housing Vicky Chavez since earlier this year. (Photo credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

Vicky Chavez was supposed to fly back to Honduras in January, but instead went to the First Unitarian Church on 1300 East, where she sought asylum for herself and her family. She spoke to KSL through a translator in February.

“We were running a risk to go and I chose for the safety of my kids to find help and seek sanctuary,” Chavez said.

Chavez says she came to the US in 2014 to escape upheaval and violence at home.

“I miss being able to be with my family and staying with my mom,” Chavez said through a translator in February. “I miss that the most.”

Now it appears filing another appeal is her only other choice outside of deportation. She’ll share her next steps at a news conference Monday evening.