Northampton mayor supporting church’s move to provide sanctuary to Russian woman

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A Russian woman facing deportation continues to receive sanctuary in a Northampton church.

Irida Kakhtiranova of Russia has been taking sanctuary at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence Church since Friday. 

Irida is the wife of a U.S. citizen and mother of three U.S. citizen children.

The Northampton church has become the latest local church to provide sanctuary to an immigrant facing deportation, and the city is on its side. 

“Part of their mission is protecting those that are in need and they clearly see a need here to help out this particular individual,” Northampton Mayor, David Narkewicz said. 

This is now the third undocumented immigrant receiving sanctuary in the Pioneer Valley. 

Lucio Perez, an undocumented immigrant, from Guatemala has been living inside the First Congregational Church in Amherst for almost six months.

A Peruvian immigrant is also taking sanctuary in Springfield. 

Northampton church leaders said they’re happy to see their city is standing by them. 

“I’m really appreciative of the leadership that our mayor has taken , and that our police chief has taken in terms of declaring this city a sanctuary city,” Congregation President, Laurie Loisel said. “My hope is that Irida gets her state of deportation lifted so she can go home and be with her family.”

A news conference has been scheduled for Tuesday at the Unitarian Society to discuss Irida taking sanctuary.

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