Local News


Undocumented Colorado mother of 4 detained for deportation, lawyer says

Posted at 4:40 PM, Apr 13, 2017

DENVER – An undocumented woman from Aurora, Colorado with a single conviction for driving without a license is set to be deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after she was detained Wednesday in Centennial, according to her lawyer.

Maria de Jesus Jimenez Sanchez is a mother of four, including a developmentally-disabled daughter, and has lived in Aurora since 1999, according to her lawyer, Lakewood attorney Jennifer Kain-Rios.

Though Jimenez Sanchez received a deportation order in 2001, according to Kain-Rios, she was able to stay in the country.

In 2012, Jimenez Sanchez was pulled over and cited for driving without a license, after which she spent six months in detention by immigration officials, according to her attorney. Colorado now allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.

But Jimenez Sanchez was granted a stay of removal, which has been renewed for the past four years because of her's daughters condition, until she learned that the most recent request for a stay had been denied last month. She was picked up Wednesday when she showed up for her routine immigration check-in despite knowing her stay had been denied, her lawyer says.

“Maria de Jesus complied with her check in appointment yesterday because she hoped that ICE would restrain itself, considering her good-faith efforts to comply with her Order of Supervision,” Kain-Rios said. “Maria de Jesus asked for the assistance of Rep. (Mike) Coffman and Sen. (Michael) Bennet’s offices to obtain a meaningful explanation, but only received curt and opaque responses from ICE.”

Kain-Rios says when they spoke with Coffman, he said that enforcement policies had changed under the new administration.

Jimenez Sanchez went to the meeting because she and her attorney had asked for an appeal of her stay’s rejection and they thought they would get an explanation for its denial, Kain-Rios told Denver-based KMGH.

Kain-Rios says Jimenez Sanchez has four children: the 15-year-old developmentally-disabled daughter, and three other children aged 7, 8 and 19.

“[Jimenez Sanchez] has a critical meeting regarding her daughter’s education plan next week she needs to attend,” Kain-Rios said. “She wants to stay so she can continue to take care of her children.”

When reached for comment Thursday, an ICE spokesman told KMGH he did not have information on the case readily available.

The children of another Denver-area undocumented woman, Jeanette Vizguerra, sent off for Washington Wednesday to protest ICE immigration enforcement actions, which the Department of Homeland Security has vowed to enforce more-strictly under the new administration.

Vizguerra and another Denver-area woman have sought sanctuary at local churches, as both are scheduled to be deported. Vizguerra’s situation is similar to Jimenez Sanchez’s as both saw their stays of deportation denied after several years of seamless compliance.

Nearly all of Colorado's law enforcement agencies say they are in compliance with federal immigration rules.