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Jeanette Vizguerra

Jeanette Vizguerra

Jeanette Vizguerra is a woman who resides in Denver, Colorado at the First Unitarian Society of Denver Church where she seeks refuge from the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement who are looking to arrest and deport her.

Background

Early Life

Photo of Jeanette holding one of her children with a photo of Obama above their heads.

Photo of Jeanette holding one of her children with a photo of Obama above their heads.

She was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico where she lived for most of her life. In 1997, after giving birth to her first child, she decided to migrate north with her husband and child and settled in Denver. She would, later on, have three children in the state of Colorado.

The reason she left Mexico City for "El Norte" is because her husband was being threatened by criminals.

As a bus driver, her husband often encountered criminals and violent people.

On three different occasions, he faced death at gun point.

Eventually, they decided it was best to flee.

She has made a home in Denver and has lived in the city for more than 20 years.

She dedicated much of her public life to the city by being an advocate of civil and immigrant rights.

Although she and her husband are now separated, they worked together many years in a company they started.

Education

She is a graduate of UNAM, one of Mexico's most prestigious universities, often considered among the top ranking public universities worldwide.

Work

Photo of Jeanette at a rally with one her children.

Photo of Jeanette at a rally with one her children.

Once she and her husband move to the United States, the two would work odd jobs in order to survive. Jeanette worked cleaning office buildings and they eventually started a moving and cleaning service company.

She was a key member of her SEIU Local, 105, which was founded in 1939, and is one of the oldest Locals within the Service Employees International Union. By joining and being an active member, she was also an organizer that led for Janitors to have better pay and benefits.

She worked to establish trust and relationship between the immigrant community and the police.

She and her husband started a moving and cleaning company and eventually had three more children, all US citizens.

She has also volunteered with her children鈥檚 schools, the Aurora Neighborhood Watch Program, Rights for All People, AFSC and contributes to the Romero Troupe.

Mother's Death

Sometime in 2013, as Jeanette expected an appeal in her case any day, she received a phone call from Mexico telling her that her mother was dying.

She and her mother spoke weekly for 17 years.

Since there are no humanitarian visas or programs, she still decided to fly to Mexico to be at her mother's side.

While in the air of her flight, her mother had died.

She stayed in Mexico for the next 7 months building a life there and sending enough for her children but soon enough it became clear that she could no longer find jobs good enough to sustain her family and herself.

She decided to return to Denver but was denied at the border many times.

With the help of the community, she found a come back to the United States.

She's been granted 5 strays of removal.

Immigration Case

From her interview about her living in the sanctuary church.

From her interview about her living in the sanctuary church.

Her case started back in 2009 after she was pulled over for driving a car with an expired license plate and also for driving without a license.

The officer also found false documents she was going to use to apply for what was going to be her third job.

And as the aforementioned story about her having to fly back to Mexico in order to see her mother only to be denied at the border is another reason she presents a challenge to USCIS and the Donald Trump Administration.

Though she is in the process of receiving a U-VISA, which is issued to people who are victims of crimes, ICE has denied her removal application on February 15th, 2017. She decided to take refuge at a sanctuary in

On February 15, 2017, she had a scheduled check in with ICE she decided to skip.

ICE had denied Jeanette's stay of removal application, even though her case is potent enough as she is in the process for consideration of a U-Visa as the survivor of a crime.

On that day Jeanette entered sanctuary at First Unitary Society Church as an act of resistance against her deportation.

On April 20th, 2017, Jeanette was named of the 100 most influential people of 2017.

The short description about her life and struggles in order to achieve her own business and look after her children as an immigrant woman was written by America Ferrera.

A Go Fund Me has set up in order to support and help her in her efforts to win her case in court.

The account is for people to make donations in order to help her pay her legal fees.

References

[1]
Citation Linkdenverpost.comArticle in the Denver Post.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:45 PM
[2]
Citation Linknytimes.comArticle in the New York Times.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:45 PM
[3]
Citation Linkdemocracynow.orgHer story on Democracy Now.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:46 PM
[4]
Citation Linklatimes.comThe LA Timesarticle.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:47 PM
[5]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comHer three children.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:56 PM
[6]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comPhoto of Jeanette with a friend holding a sign.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:57 PM
[7]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comPhoto of Jeanette inside of the church where she lives.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:57 PM
[8]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJeanette at a rally.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:57 PM
[9]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comPhoto of Jeanette at a rally with one her children.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:58 PM
[10]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comPhoto of Jeanette holding one of her children with a photo of Obama above their heads.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:59 PM
[11]
Citation Linkyoutu.be
Jeanette Vizguerra: Life in Sanctuary
Apr 20, 2017, 9:00 PM
[12]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comFrom her interview about her living in the sanctuary church.
Apr 20, 2017, 9:03 PM
[13]
Citation Linkyoutube.comMadre con orden de deportaci贸n busca refugio en una iglesia | Noticiero | Noticias Telemundo.
Apr 20, 2017, 9:06 PM
[14]
Citation Linkyoutu.be
Undocumented Denver Mother, Jeanette Vizguerra, Speaks at 'Sanctuary' Church.
Apr 20, 2017, 9:07 PM
[15]
Citation Linkfacebook.comThe personal Facebookof Jeanette.
Apr 20, 2017, 7:50 PM
[16]
Citation Linkyoutu.be
Illegal immigrant seeks sanctuary in Colorado church.
Apr 20, 2017, 7:52 PM
[17]
Citation Linkyoutu.be
Mother faces deportation, takes sanctuary.
Apr 20, 2017, 7:53 PM
[18]
Citation Linktelemundodenver.comShe was named one of TIME Magazine's most influential people.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:01 PM
[19]
Citation Linktime.comHer profile on the TIME Magazinewebsite.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:01 PM
[20]
Citation Linkcnn.comThe CNNarticle.
Apr 20, 2017, 8:02 PM