- File photo
Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented immigrant, mother and activist, left the First Unitarian Society of Denver on May 11 upon hearing she'll be safe from deportation for two years. Arturo Hernandez Garcia, another immigrant who lived in the church for nine months starting in 2014, was also granted a "stay of deportation" the same day. Their attorneys told Denverite the development was born from public pressure, lawyering and luck.
Vizguerra entered the church three months ago when she declared sanctuary — a tactic for avoiding removal proceedings based on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)'s policy of not doing raids in "sensitive locations," like places of worship ("Not in our house," Cover, April 19). While there, Vizguerra garnered international media attention and was named one of Time's "most influential people," inspiring U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and Sen. Michael Bennet to file private legislation (asking agencies to do something within their ability) to secure her lawful permanent resident status.