Immigrant Takes Refuge In Denver Church To Avoid Deportation

Cheryl Sanders
February 17, 2017

Vizguerra said she told her children last week of her decision to stay in a basement room of the church that they had painted in 2014 in preparation for any immigrant who might need to seek sanctuary.

Meyer says the mother of four has been trying to get a visa granted to crime victims and the government has typically given extensions during that process. "Jeanette's case is Exhibit A in the brutality of Trump's immigration enforcement plans, plain and simple".

In her place were 100 supporters who demonstrated outside the building as her attorney, Han Meyer, and a minister entered to speak with agents.

Vizguerra has been granted several stays under Obama-era policies that concentrated deportation efforts on only the worst of criminals.

Vizguerra is among the most high profile of the undocumented immigrants targeted in a wave of immigration raids that have seen hundreds rounded up by ICE officials in recent days. However, President Donald Trump's executive order has cast a much wider net, focusing on undocumented immigrants with any form of criminal history, including non-violent offenses like traffic violations and, like Vizguerra, working illegally in order to feed her family.

A mother of four is defying a deportation order by taking sanctuary at a church in Denver.

"The local field office here had every opportunity to work with me and to approve my stay".

"This is not just an attack on me, it's an attack on the entire immigrant community", Vizguerra said. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says there's little the city can do to protect vizguerra's and others like her.

Jeanette Vizguerra skipped her scheduled check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in the suburb of Centennial.

Vizguerra had spent years fighting deportation orders and getting stays on her 2011 final deportation order.

Vizguerra pushed back on that claim while speaking at the church, telling the congregation that her arrests were work related.

She said she was arrested for not having a driver's license or current vehicle registration.

Wrapping up her speech, Vizguerra said her heart goes out to Daniel Ramirez Medina - a 23-year-old recently detained in Washington state despite being protected by a federal immigration program - and Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, an Arizona woman who was deported last week after she was arrested during a routine ICE check-in.

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