Undocumented Mom Hiding in Denver Church Among Time’s 100 Most Influential People
NEW YORK (CNN) — Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented mother of four who has been living in a Denver church since February, has been named one of 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.
Vizguerra took refuge at the First Unitarian Church in Denver in mid-February as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sought to deport her.
Vizguerra came to the United States from Mexico in 1997 with her husband and eldest daughter. She has been living in the US undocumented since and has three American-born children under the age of 12.
Speaking to CNN from the church on Thursday morning, Vizguerra said she was honored that her 20 years of activism for immigrants rights was being recognized.
“Jeanette Viguerra’s courage — as an immigrant, a mother, and a survivor of crime — to stand true against the nativism of the Trump administration serves as a humbling reminder of what the real American values of courage, dedication, and perseverance look like,” Vizguerra’s lawyer, Hans Meyer, said in a statement.
The list, now in its 14th year, recognizes the world’s most influential individuals. Vizguerra’s name appears alongside John Lewis, Colin Kapernick, Jeff Bezos, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and others.
Vizguerra came to the attention of authorities in the US after a traffic stop in 2009. Since then she had regular check-ins with ICE who continually renewed a stay on her deportation order.
However, at her check-in in February, her first under the Trump administration, the stay was not extended.
Thursday is Vizguerra’s 65th day living in the church.