Facing Possible Deportation, Undocumented Mother Takes Sanctuary in Colorado

Feb 15, 2017
2:20 PM

On the heels of a highly publicized case that saw a Phoenix mother get deported for checking in with ICE last week, ICE raids across the nation and also with the news that a DACA recipient has been detained by ICE in Seattle, an undocumented mother of four from Colorado whose stay of removal has expired, decided on Wednesday to take sanctuary at a local Denver church.

According to organizers, “Jeanette Vizguerra, a mother of four and a longtime leader in the immigrant and labor movements, undertook an act of resistance by entering sanctuary in the First Unitarian Society of Denver, which is committed to recognizing and protecting her freedom. She was scheduled to meet with Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) for the first time after her stay of removal expired, facing the uncertainty of deportation.”

Before she took sanctuary, Vizguerra read a statement as to why she has decided to do this:

Later, there was a press conference inside the church:

Organizers also shared this about Vizguerra:

While Jeanette Vizguerra’s lawyer, Hans Meyer, submitted an application renewal of her stay of deportation on December 6, 2016, her last extension expired on February 7 of this year. Since then, she and her family, including three US citizen children (6, 10, and 12 years old), an adult daughter with DACA, and a two year old grandson, had been living in fear that Jeanette could be deported if she appears at the ICE facility in Centennial for her check-in.

Jeanette has both a U-visa application and a private bill, HR 752, in the U.S. House of Representatives pending, either of which would grant her lawful status.

A rally is planned in Washington, D.C., later today.

Also, The New York Times just published a February 15 story about Vizguerra.

ICE has also issued a statement about this case: