Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented mother of four, has been living with her children in the basement of a church in Denver for over two months where she fled after being ordered to return to Mexico. Vizguerra, who has lived and worked in the US for 20 years, today was named on Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the world, joining the likes of Ava Duverney, Theresa May, Colin Kaepernick and others, reports Kimberly Lawson.
Award-winning actor and activist America Ferrera wrote this about Vizguerra in TIME: “She came to this country not to rape, murder or sell drugs, but to create a better life for her family.”
“She shed blood, sweat and tears to become a business owner, striving to give her children more opportunities than she had. This is not a crime. This is the American Dream,” argues Ferrera.
Vizguerra arrived in the US with her husband and daughter in 1997. Since then, she has had three other children and found work as a janitor while also becoming “an active member of the Colorado immigration community and organizer with SEIU Local 105,” reports Denver newspaper, Westword.
Vizguerra was pulled over in 2009 for a traffic stop and then discovered to be undocumented. ICE officials previously extended her stay five times while she was waiting for approval of a special “U visa” application but recently, during her first visit under the Trump administration, her request was denied.