Rally held outside Hartford ICE office for New Haven father still seeking sanctuary


The federal courthouse in Hartford was the scene of another protest Friday morning. Dozens of people making their presence known. 

“Very classic civil disobedience. This goes right back to the 1960’s,” said Maureen Lopes from Madison. 

The protestors showed up to support New Haven father Nelson Pinos. He came to the U.S. from Ecuador 25 years ago. He was supposed to be deported last November. 

“It’s just inhumane. It’s not a broken system. It’s working just as it was designed to,” said Catherine Maria Rodriguez, one of the the protestors. 

Related: Rally to be held to support New Haven father’s plea for a stay of deportation

Instead of going back to Ecuador, he took sanctuary at the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church in New Haven. That’s where he’s been living ever since. 

“His children, and he has three of them, are really suffering. And we’ve told the federal government that and that didn’t seem to move any hearts,” said Lopes. 

Friday morning some of the protestors lined the entrance to the court house — preventing anyone from going in. All of them understood they could be arrested. 

Related: 1 father seeks sanctuary in New Haven church, 1 father granted emergency stay

“Because this is a just cause and sometimes laws are unjust.”

A move that aggravated some lawyers and people who had court appointments. Hartford police shutting down the road at first, then turning the matter over to Homeland Security. 

“The goal is that we are prepared to stay here until they make a decision not to deport Nelson. We are here for the duration,” said Ron Hurt, third ward alder in New Haven. 

While News 8 was there, we noticed the crowd grew smaller and smaller. But those blocking the doors held firm. 

“ICE has the power to sign on the dotted line and free Nelson,” said Rodriguez. “

Immigration has become a very controversial topic in the U.S. Many people say that those who come into this country should do so legally. 

Related: Sen. Blumenthal assisting New Haven man in deportation fight

News 8’s Brian Spyros has a look at the rally in the video below. 

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