Jeanette Vizguerra granted stay of removal, will leave sanctuary

Undocumented immigrant and longtime Denver resident Jeanette Vizguerra has been granted a stay of removal from deportation until March 15, 2019.

Vizguerra, who is originally from Mexico, has lived in the U.S. for more than two decades. She has been fighting to stay in the country for nearly eight years, since a routine traffic stop in 2009 revealed that she had been using a false Social Security number in order to work.

In recent years, the mother of four has become an outspoken immigrants rights activist. TIME magazine put her on its list of the 100 most influential people of 2017.

On Feb. 15, fear of deportation kept Vizguerra from reporting for a routine check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Citing her failure to appear, ICE denied her request for a stay of removal.That same day, Vizguerra entered sanctuary in a downtown Denver church. ICE officials typically do not conduct enforcement in churches or schools. She has been living in sanctuary for 86 days.

Vizguerra is expected to leave sanctuary at the First Baptist Church of Denver Friday morning at 8:30 a.m, according to a statement from her lawyers. The statement also said Arturo Hernandez Garcia, who was detained by ICE late last month and recently released, has also been given a temporary stay of removal.


Photo credit: Allen Tian