Russian woman taking sanctuary in Northampton church

Hampshire County

A Russian woman who’s facing deportation is now receiving sanctuary in a Northampton church.

The woman taking sanctuary at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence Church is now the third undocumented immigrant receiving sanctuary in the Pioneer Valley. 

Irida Kakhtiranova of Russia came to the U.S. in 2003 and has been living at the church in Northampton since Friday night.  

Irida is a wife to a U.S. citizen and mother of three U.S. citizen children. Irida also works at a restaurant worker and is the sole wage earner in her family.

Minister Janet Bush told 22News the church will protect Irida, while she fights deportation.

“We believe in justice and equity and compassion and human relations and treating people fairly and standing with people those who are not being treated fairly by the government,” said Bush.

A news conference has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 at the Unitarian Society at 220 Main Street, at 2 p.m. to discuss Irida taking sanctuary

Bush told 22News they plan to provide sanctuary for Irida for however long it takes. 

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