DENVER — “We are going to keep organizing — Jeanette belongs here with us,” America Carbajal told more than 100 people who rallied at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement regional office here Feb. 15 to support the fight of Jeanette Vizguerra to remain in the U.S.
That morning, government officials denied Vizguerra’s application to renew a stay of deportation, saying she is a “priority” for removal because of two misdemeanor convictions — one for carrying a document with a false Social Security number, the other for re-entering the United States in 2013 after going to Mexico for her mother’s funeral. She went into sanctuary at the First Unitarian Church instead of reporting to the ICE office, where she would likely have faced arrest.
Vizguerra is a well-known labor activist and founder of the Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition. She has lived here for 20 years and has three school-age children.
“This is not the end but another step in a long journey,” Vizguerra told the rally by phone. “When I started the sanctuary coalition, I never thought I would need it.”
Ingrid Encalada Latorre has been in sanctuary at Mountain View Friends Meeting church since Nov. 28, fighting deportation because of a felony charge for having obtained false documents. “We will fight our cases together,” Vizguerra said.
Donations to support their fight can be made to “MDSC” and sent to Jefferson Unitarian Church, 14350 W. 32nd Ave., Golden, CO 80401, attention Carol Wilsey.