Jeanette Vizguerra's work-visa denial could lead to activist's deportation: Lawyer plans appeal

Jeanette Vizguerra's legal fight to stay in the United States is not finished yet, but it's closer than ever to reaching the conclusion she, her family and supporters fear the most.

Her request for a work visa that would allow her to pursue legal citizenship was denied.

According to an e-mail from Rights for All People (RAP), an organization advocating for immigrant rights and justice whose membership includes Vizguerra, she received the news two days before Thanksgiving.

Vizguerra's deportation decision has been a long time coming. At a hearing in July, she was told she'd probably learn her fate in October. Instead, she waited for another month and a half for word that she could soon be separated from her husband and three citizen children.

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RAP's e-mail indicated that Vizguerra's lawyer will appeal the latest decision and is collecting letters of support to include with a prosecutorial discretion request, which would attempt to persuade law enforcement not to pursue deportation of Vizguerra.

Her supporters argue that as a cleaning-and-moving business owner and active community member, as well as a mother and wife to a husband who she helped fight cancer without government assistance, Vizguerra is the kind of immigrant who deserves United States citizenship and should not be separated from her family. Originally from Mexico, Vizguerra has lived in Colorado for over fourteen years.

She was pulled over for driving with expired tags over two years ago. RAP held protests at what it thought was Vizguerra's final deportation hearing in May. That decision was delayed because of an administrative technicality.

In the time Vizguerra has been waiting to receive her verdict, she has been visible at protests, such as a march against Wells Fargo, and is one of the cases, along with Gerardo Noriega, which RAP has widely publicized.

RAP staff members have not responded to voicemails seeking comment. However, the e-mail notes that the organization is "extremely distressed and frustrated by this decision." At this point, it's unknown whether a new immigration review pilot program that seeks to close low-priority cases will have any impact on Vizguerra's future.

More from our Immigration archive: "Wildcat Dairy raid: Five workers deported, criminal charges against six others dropped."


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