Jeanette Vizguerra Among Those Taking Sanctuary In Denver Church Ahead Of ICE Raids
DENVER (CBS4)- Immigrant advocates and sympathizers are warning about arrests in 10 cities around the country as early as Sunday. Denver is included in that list.
One woman from Mexico has taken sanctuary in a church to avoid deportation.
When asked, "Do you feel safe in here?"
Jeanette Vizguerra replied, "Yes, this is security."
For more than three months, Vizguerra has been living inside the First Unitarian Society of Denver church.
On the doors, instructions are posted what to do "If ICE comes to the door" or "If ICE enters unnoticed."
The anticipated sweep is expected to be similar to operations that authorities have regularly done since 2003. They often produce hundreds of arrests.
This one is different because President Donald Trump announced Monday on Twitter that it would be the start of an effort to deport millions of people in the country illegally, a near-impossibility given limited resources of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which makes the arrests and carries out deportation orders.
On the steps of the church on Thursday, an announcement was made that Vizguerra's application for a visa to avoid deportation was denied. Now comes word of possible enforcement action this weekend.
Gabriela Flora is the program director of the American Friends Service Committee in Denver is calling for resistance.
"We are letting people know this happening and its a balance of not creating panic we don't know how it's going to play out," she said.
Vizguerra and others are equipped with panic buttons on their phones should immigration authorities arrive. They also have an app to connect with a lawyer if needed.
In the past when ICE makes detentions, what's called targeted actions are unannounced. This time the president himself has announced them in advance.
"It's horrible every time he does a campaign he tries to scare the people," said Vizguerra.
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