Jeanette Vizguerra, an illegal alien woman who took refuge in a church in February to avoid deportation, was granted a stay of removal by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Thursday.
After spending 86 days inside the First Unitarian Church in Denver, Vizguerra left the church on Friday. The Mexico-City-native-turned-immigration-activist will be allowed to remain in the United States until March 15, 2019.
Reportedly, Vizguerra illegally crossed the border and settled in Colorado in 1997. She brought one child with her, who is now a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, and had three additional children who were born in the U.S.
In 2013, Vizguerra was granted a stay, which she renewed five times. ICE denied her sixth renewal in February. However, she opted to take refuge instead of presenting herself for deportation.
Her case made national headlines, and TIME magazine called her one of the world’s “100 most influential people” last month.
Vizguerra was happy with the ICE issued stay, saying it was a special day during a press conference Friday outside of the church she’d used to avoid deportation. She also acknowledged that she would continue activism against immigration laws. She is currently focusing on the case of Ingrid Encalada Latorre, a Peruvian woman who has taken “sanctuary” at a different Denver church.
In addition to Vizguerra ‘s stay, ICE granted a stay of deportation to Arturo Hernandez Garcia, who was also avoiding deportation under the First Unitarian Church’s roof.
Garcia had previously fought deportation by taking refuge in the church for nine months between 2014 and 2015. He was found at work last month by ICE agents and detained. However, within a week, Colorado Democrats Sen. Michael Bennett, Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Rep. Jared Polis had worked out his release.
Polis was also present in the Vizguerra case, reportedly saying that the stay of deportation for the mother of three American citizens should be a “routine matter.”
H/T: The Hill
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