Immigration activist one step closer to victory

Immigration activist one step closer to victory

After seven years fighting deportation, Jeannette Vizguerra finally has some good news.

On Wednesday, the longtime Denver resident and mother of three told a crowd of supporters and media that she has been granted a stay of removal for 12 months. That means she won’t have to report back to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement until this time next year.

A year may not seem like much, but it’s a big improvement over the six-month stays Vizguerra has gotten used to.

“Finally, for one year, I can be tranquil,” she said in an interview, speaking Spanish. “I’m very happy.”

Vizguerra immigrated to the U.S. without papers more than 20 years ago, but she has been fighting separation from her family since 2009.

That’s the year she was pulled over in Aurora for driving with expired license plates. When it became clear that she was using a false social security number to work the jobs that fed her family, immigration authorities ordered her deportation.

Vizguerra worked to fight the removal order, but jeopardized her case when, in 2012, she returned to Mexico to visit her dying mother. Her subsequent reentry in 2013 set off a long legal battle — and a string of stays in detention centers — that she and her supporters have been fighting ever since.

From the archives: Local mother Jeanette Vizguerra to ICE: Don’t break up my family

The news that Vizguerra has been granted a year-long stay means more than just one less immigration check-in this year. It should also provide enough time for the government to finally process Vizguerra’s request for a U visa.

U visas offer immigration relief for victims of crimes in exchange for cooperation with law enforcement. The visa program was designed to ensure that immigrants who have endured human trafficking, domestic violence and other crimes aren’t silenced by fears of deportation. In return, they help bring criminals to justice.

“I feel like I’m closer to a final, long-term victory,” Vizguerra said.

Attorney Hans Meyer, who has worked with Vizguerra for the past four years, says the recent news is cause for hope.

“Having a year reflects the validity of our claim to a U visa, and it gives us enough time for the process to unfold,” he said. “We feel optimistic.”

Vizguerra herself says her fight hasn’t been easy, but she hopes it will lead to policy changes in the future.

“It’s been seven long years of a very hard, difficult struggle, but I think the fight has resulted in some positive things,” she said. “This isn’t just my victory. It’s a victory for all of the community that has fought alongside me in different ways.”

Meyer stressed that the year-long deportation relief, though not a final solution, also speaks volumes about the priorities of immigration authorities. They have seen that Vizguerra isn’t a threat, and they know her supporters are willing to stand by her.

“Today, the right thing happened,” Meyer said. “The government granted a mom the chance to stay with her kids.”

Photo credit: Eric Leveridge, American Friends Service Committee

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About the Author

Kelsey Ray

2 Comments

  1. Gabriel A. King on said:

    The problem is… she’s a good person.

    If she were a Muslim screaming for Sharia, raping people and chopping off heads…. she would be given TAX PAYER FUNDED asylum at any one of the Muslim compounds in the US compliments of the Obama administration.

    And you really have to hand it to modern “Liberals”….
    even when their own cult members (fellow Leftists lol) are raped and / or murdered by Muslims… they’ll just find some way to excuse Islam and Muslims…. and blame anyone right of center for it.

  2. AMerica Activst on said:

    She is not an Activist, She is just another Criminal illegal invader trying to Use the America taxpayer for her own selfish needs, Activist act on behalf of the law and for the benefits of the legal citizens. She stole federal ID from legal citizen. The fact that she was able to come back across the borders after she was publicly deported by ICE sends a send message that our borders need to be secured and a wall should be built and our immigration laws should be enforced.
    This is the same illegal immigrant female who was hiding the church in Chicago to avoid deportation. She had been arrested for stealing a U.S citizens’ Social security card and working under department labor laws felony lies. She had an 8 year old US anchor baby and was the first to campaign that ICE and the US. Laws were breaking up families. She stayed in the church for a year and then she travelled to LA to speak to other illegals who were hiding out tin churches, but as soon as her got the LA ICE arrested her and deported her back to México. While in Mexico she asked the Mexican government if she could become an ambassador for the other illegals who were living in the U.S , as a way to get back the U.S after her deportation.

    The Mexican government refused to appoint her, so she came back across the border illegally, but this time with her three year old daughter that was born in Mexico. She is not an activist and she is lying about her son bring in danger. She left her son, Saul, with the church leader and his Hispanic wife, so he wasn’t in any danger in Mexico. Also if she was in so much danger why did she have another child while she as in Mexico.
    She has since had another child in America, that she thinks will secure her illegal status to stay and get all the Taxpayer social services. If you are deported you cannot return to the U.S in 10 years, do why she is here and why she wasn’t immediately deported? She has been coached on what to say the immigration judges. THIS IS THE ILLIGRAL IMMIGRANTS CON GAME, AMERICANS.

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