DENVER – An undocumented Mexican woman, considered by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2017, left the church in the United States on Friday where she sought sanctuary three months ago, now that immigration authorities have given her a two-year stay of deportation.
Thanks to the decision by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Jeanette Vizguerra left the church, and, accompanied by her family, gave a press conference together with another Mexican, Arturo Hernandez Garcia, whose deportation was also postponed.
“It’s a special day for me because I will be able to celebrate Mother’s Day with my children and grandchildren,” said a visibly moved Vizguerra, adding that “it’s been three very difficult months,” and described the ICE decision as “a miracle.”
She said she has fought and will keep fighting for her children and for mothers and fathers in the same situation: “We are a community, and it doesn’t matter what race, color or country, their pain is my pain, and my struggle and fight will continue.”
That is Hernandez Garcia’s attitude as well – he said that after Friday, a day of celebration, tomorrow they will get back to aiding the undocumented immigrants who need them.
He said that the fight will continue and that united they can achieve their goals, and looked pleased at the thought that next Monday he can attend his daughter’s graduation.
In the case of Vizguerra, ICE extended her stay in the United States until March 15, 2019. Hernandez can also remain for approximately two more years, though an exact date was not stated.
Last week the administration of President Donald Trump announced that, contrary to what happened Friday, bills introduced by US senators and representatives that seek to benefit certain individuals will no longer be sufficient reason to postpone deportations.
For that reason, according to information provided by Jennifer Piper of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and spokeswoman for the Denver Sanctuary Movement, Hernandez and Vizguerra could be the last people to benefit from individual bills.
Sen. Michael Bennet and Congressman Jared Polis, both Democrats, had introduced measures by means of separate bills in the legislature to grant both Vizguerra and Hernandez the possibility of remaining permanently in the United States.