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Woman taking sanctuary in Denver is hopeful Biden administration policies will bring change

First Unitarian Church
Posted at 7:37 AM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 09:37:15-05

DENVER — Denver’s First Unitarian Church sits empty day after day, the silence only broken by Jeanette Vizguerra as she goes about her day doing her daily chores.

The church has been her home for two years. It's been a sanctuary in a time of need.

"Taking sanctuary doesn’t make you a prisoner, it means having a safe space," she said.

In 2017, Vizguerra was forced to seek sanctuary after facing possible deportation to Mexico. Now with a new administration, she’s hopeful to regain her freedom and reunite with her family outside the church’s doors. It's something that wasn’t possible under the Trump administration, she said.

READ MORE: Immigration activist takes sanctuary in Denver church

Vizguerra said she wants to believe that change is on the way, but still finds it hard to sometimes. She said unless Congress and President Joe Biden work together to fulfill comprehensive immigration reform, nothing will change.

The sacrifice she’s going through isn’t just for herself. Her eldest daughter is a DACA recipient and her youngest children are US citizens.

"There are people who tell me, 'If it is so hard, why don’t you simply just grab your things and go back to Mexico with your family?' And I tell them, the point of my sacrifice is for my family and for a better life with them," Vizguerra said.

READ MORE: Undocumented Colorado mother of 3 named to the Time 100

So far, a new Biden policy blocked most deportations for 100 days.

Although it’s not clear what will happen after that window ends, Vizguerra said she knows she’ll keep fighting and making her voice heard from this quiet Denver church.