Jeanette Vizguerra deportation decision delayed, but supporters promise fight will go on

Categories: Immigration

jeanette vizguerra.jpg
Jeanette Vizguerra, a small business owner, community leader and mother of three citizen children, will have to wait until 8:30 a.m. on July 13 to find out if she will be allowed to stay in this country.

Vizguerra's final deportation hearing was scheduled to take place at 8:30 this morning, but it was delayed. Why?

Because of an administrative technicality, according to Liz Hamel, an organizer at Rights for All People (RAP), an organization dedicated to ensuring equality and justice for immigrants.

"This is an example of how long and drawn-out this process is and how wearing it is mentally," Hamel says. "It speaks to immigrants in general who are in it for the long haul and work here and endure. This is a cause we're willing to keep fighting for."

RAP had organized a protest for 7:30 a.m. this morning with help from Colorado Progressive Coalition, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Coloradans for Immigrant Rights and Interfaith Worker Justice. About one-hundred people showed up to pledge their support and said they would be back in July, Hamel notes.

"We were so happy with the turnout," she says. "There were many allies from other organizations who aren't immigrants who believe in fighting the struggle. We hope we were a visible presence and that we were able to talk to people we wouldn't have spoken to. It was a strong and peaceful protest. We were really pleased with how that went."

Hamel says RAP will speak with Vizguerra, her family and lawyers about staging another protest for the July hearing -- but either way, the organization will have a presence there.

RAP and the rest of Vizguerra's supporters believe it would be cruel to separate her from her family. Vizguerra's husband is suffering from cancer and is unable to work to pay medical bills, and the couple's children, who were born here, are ages seven, five and three months. In addition, Vizguerra has been involved in many community organizations, from the SEIU local 105 labor union, where she fought for equal wages and against sexual harassment, to the Aurora Neighborhood Watch Program and her children's schools.

Vizguerra attempted to apply for citizen status when a family member petitioned for her, but that effort fell through, Hamel maintains.

"It's a huge misconception that you can just go down to the office and fill out a few papers to apply for citizen status," she argues. "It's a long process, and if you don't have a lot of money or a direct family member, it is really difficult and could take up to twenty years."

RAP will also mobilize at noon next Wednesday at for the deportation hearing of Gerardo Noriega, a twenty-year-old graduate of Smoky Hill High School. He was pulled over for a broken license plate light and faces deportation to Mexico, a country about which he knows virtually nothing firsthand. He moved to Colorado when he was a young child.

"This isn't about one court hearing," Hamel says. "It's about the fight for human rights in general."

More from our Immigration archive: "Gay immigration: What is it like to be gay in El Salvador? Report to the U.N. details the horrors."

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Tatiana Achcar
Tatiana Achcar

Congress has not enacted a viable ans significant pathway to legalization for millions of human beings in teh United States since President Ronald Reagan (1986). The Life Act, which had a sunset provision in April 2001 (therefore expiring a decade ago), helped many but not enough. If you believe that 14 years is far too long for people to get documentation so they may live decently, including having a legal way to perform the jobs for which so many employers and consumers - like you - needs them, then use our wonderfully democratic system to elect competent and couragious lawmakers who will work with the realities - not the politics - of immigration in this country. No excuses, just the facts. Bless you.


There is virtually no process for unskilled immigrants without relatives in the US to apply for permanent legal residence. The wait time for green cards approaches infinity. For a person facing violence or her own hungry children, this wait may not be acceptable or even possible.  Deportation is not a fix for our broken system.


It's not about being a victim... Everyone is a victim when it comes Down about our laws. The process is long and very expensive, you guys should get inside her shoes, she only dreams about the American dream like every body else, the sad thing is for mexicans or other Latino countries is very hard. The government does not want to help, that's all there is. We have to learn that we are bot citizens of the u.s.a but citizens of the world. I pray for our government to help out brothers and sisters that are in need, we are all just one big disfunctional family that need help from one another. It's going against the law, but are laws always right when it comes down for a human to have a life?

Family Unification
Family Unification

I was very disturbed to learn about Jeanette's case and howher family is being negatively impacted by our broken immigration system thatdoesn't allow so many people to legalize their status.  It is unacceptable that our government'sactions tear families apart.  What is evenmore upsetting is that this is not an isolated case, mothers like Jeannette arebeing taken from their children daily by detention and deportation, which areat their highest level ever.  I am deeplysaddened by the messages of hate I see in these posts.  Instead of blaming people who are victims ofour out dated and broken immigration system, we should be working together tocreate communities that welcome and value all those who are contributing.  Jeannette has given so much to her community,from organizing for worker rights to employing over a dozen people in herbusiness.  We need to fix our immigrationsystem so people like Jeanette can continue to contribute to our communities.


"It's a huge misconception that you can just go down to the office and fill out a few papers to apply for citizen status," she argues. "It's a long process, and if you don't have a lot of money or a direct family member, it is really difficult and could take up to twenty years."

The jails are full of people with great excuses. Obey the law, change the law, or suffer the consequences.


Bad shit happens when one doesn't protect one's self.  Why did she keep her "illegal" status so long?  It would seem to me that she should have given that higher priority.  My vote?  Give her a path to citizenship or give her the boot.  Stop allowing people to break the law.

What's next?  We cry because of flood damage to those who failed to purchase flood insurance?  Take responsibility for your actions, Lady.

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