DENVER (CBS4) – Immigrants facing deportation in Colorado say there is new hope for their situation. Their optimism grew after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

The First Unitarian Church in Denver is home for Jeannette Vizguerra. Facing possible deportation to Mexico, she has been in sanctuary for 2 years now.

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(credit: CBS)

“My hope is this new president create change in the immigration system,” she told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger.

With Biden due to take office in January, Vizguerra’s long effort to once again be free in America could possibly be realized.

“Yeah, my hope is it’s about time, not just for me but for more than 11 million people,” she said, speaking about all immigrants without documents.

Jeannette Vizguerra (credit: CBS)

There are others seeking sanctuary at the United Methodist Church in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood. Araceli Velasquez has been there for about three years.

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She is trying to keep her family together In Colorado rather than face removal to El Salvador. We spoke with her through an interpreter.

Araceli Velasquez (credit: CBS)

“El Salvador is place you cannot live now because there is so much violence,” Velasquez said.

Meantime in Boulder, Ingrid Encalda Latorre has long been fighting government efforts to deport her to Peru. She has been living in the Unitarian Universalist Church and other places of sanctuary for 4 years. She told us her hopes are high.

“Yes we have more hope with this president, Joe Biden. With this administration we tried but had a lot of doors closed,” she said in an interview over Zoom.

Ingrid Encalda Latorre (credit: CBS)

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Now she and the others who have taken refuge in churches are praying they may soon be able to safely leave without fear of deportation.

Rick Sallinger