Saturday, December 16, 2017

Immigrant Who Took Sanctuary at a Church for 86 Days Granted Stay of Removal

After 86 days of living and taking sanctuary in a Colorado church, Jeanette Vizguerra was finally granted a stay of removal on Thursday of last week. Vizguerra left the church Friday with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) granted stay, allowing her to remain in the country until March 15, 2019.

“This is a special day for me, because I will be able to celebrate Mother’s Day with my children and my grandchildren. Even though I’ve been continuing the fight from the inside, I have missed my kids — this fight is for them. And at the same time, it’s for all of the mothers and fathers who are in the struggle,” Vizguerra said at a press conference in Denver.

Featured in Time’s 100 most influential people list, the immigration activist is a Mexico City native that immigrated to Colorado in 1997 after her husband was held at gunpoint. A mother of four children, three U.S. citizens, and one of whom is a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, she was granted a stay of deportation in 2013, and denied her sixth renewal in February.

“At the same time I’ve felt happy for myself, I am sad for my friend who is at another church. While I’m celebrating, she also wants to leave from there,” said Vizguerra. “Even though my struggle has not ended, my energy over the next two years will go towards fighting for her,” she added.

ICE also granted a stay of deportation to Arturo Hernandez Garcia, who took refuge at First Unitarian Church for nine months between 2014 and 2015. Jeanette Vizguerra will continue her immigration activism and focus on the release of Ingrid Encalada Latorre, a Peruvian mother of two, who has also taken sanctuary at another local church.

The Hill Latino