By Melissa Garcia

DENVER (CBS4) – Two parents at the center of the current deportation debate now have stays-of-removal in Colorado.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Thursday granted the stays to Jeanette Vizguerra and Arturo Hernandez Garcia, who have both taken refuge in a Denver church to avoid deportation.

Arturo Hernandez Garcia, left, Jeanette Vizguerra, right (credit CBS)

Both had minor offenses that caught the attention of ICE.

Vizguerra had been living at the First Unitarian Church in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood since February, when her sixth stay-of-removal was denied under the Trump administration.

Jeanette Vizguerra (credit: CBS)

“Si se pudo,” chanted an excited crowd who greeted Vizguerra for her first steps outside of the church in 86 days.

“Jeanette has been granted a stay-of-removal until March 15, 2019,” announced Julie Gonzales of the Meyer Law Office.

Jeanette Vizguerra (credit CBS)

With the assistance of a Spanish-to-English interpreter, Vizguerra said it was a special day because she will now be able to celebrate Mother’s Day with her children and grandchildren.

Hernandez Garcia also spoke to the crowd about his reaction on being granted a stay that will allow him to remain in the United States with his children for the next couple of years.

Arturo Hernandez Garcia (credit: CBS)

“I am very happy because two weeks ago, I was arrested again by ICE, and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to be at (my daughter’s) graduation or not,” he said through the interpreter.

Vizguerra said that their struggle was far from over. Though she is now out of hiding, she vowed to continue fighting for other undocumented immigrants.

Jeanette Vizguerra (credit CBS)

“Only by continuing to work together will we be able to continue this fight for every other family threatened by deportation under this administration,” Gonzales said.

Hernandez Garcia was arrested and detained in April while on his way to work.

CBS4’s Melissa Garcia reached out to ICE about why the two were granted stays-of-removal when others have been denied.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (credit: CBS)

A spokesman with the agency said that Vizguerra and Hernandez Garcia were granted stays because lawmakers had introduced private bills naming them and had requested investigations.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to

  1. I just love when there are laws for some and different laws for others. So now the demorat polititians in Denver can pick and choose what laws they want to enforce. You are making our laws and our country a laughing stock, ya’ll need to be removed from office. :(

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