Immigrant taking sanctuary in boulder marks year of resistance – colorado daily

Kimberlin Bautista, 12, shows her little sister Amy, 2, a photograph while protesting outside of the BI Incorporated office with their mother Guadalupe Lopez, left, and Jeanette Vizguerra, at right, on Thursday in Gunbarrel. BI Incorporated designs, manufactures and assembles electronic monitoring systems for use by Federal, State and County corrections agencies and courts. The protest fell on the anniversary of immigrant Ingrid Encalada Latorre taking sanctuary in Fort Collins and Boulder. For a video of the protest go to dailycamera.com. ( Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

Trump’s tweets, an apparent response to a caravan of more than 3,000 migrants headed toward the United States/Mexico border, also threatened military action to close the border.


The president has also threatened to cut off aid to the three countries.

Encalada Latorre urged people sympathetic to the plight of immigrants to vote in November as she herself is waiting out the Trump administration in hopes of one more friendly to the immigrant community getting elected in 2020. It’s likely the only way she’ll be able to leave sanctuary and stay in the United States.

Trump has been criticized for what many believe is racist rhetoric with regard to immigrants, including his campaign kick-off speech in which he called Mexican nationals rapists. He also has referred to members of the MS-13 gang as "animals" and has warned that immigrants will "infest" this country.

His administration earlier this year began separating immigrant children from their parents at the border as part of a "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal border crossings. The policy was later walked back, but 245 children remain separated from their parents, according to the Washington Post.

Then candidate Trump’s supporters had a more mixed view of undocumented immigrants with about 35 percent saying they believed immigrants took American jobs. A greater share of his supporters, however, believe undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit serious crime than American citizens and nearly 60 percent of strong Trump supporters associated unauthorized immigrants with criminal behavior.

Sandra Garcia, from right, Matt Wozniak and Garrett Suydam hold signs while protesting Thursday outside of the BI Incorporated office in Gunbarrel. BI Incorporated designs, manufactures and assembles electronic monitoring systems for use by Federal, State and County corrections agencies and courts, one of which is worn by Ingrid Encalada Latorre, who is taking sanctuary from deportation in a Boulder church. ( Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

Encalada Latorre’s plight was on activists’ minds earlier Thursday at an office park in Gunbarrel, where immigrant rights activist Jeanette Vizguerra led a group of demonstrators outside BI Incorporated, a company that contracts with the immigration department to supervise people in the immigration system via ankle bracelets. Encalada Latorre must wear an ankle bracelet from the company.

Vizguerra left sanctuary in May after spending 86 days at Denver churches to avoid immigration deportation. She was granted a nearly two-year stay of deportation and is continuing to work on her own case and advocate for other immigrants. She has lived in the United States for 20 years.

BI Incorporated has collected hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts and is a subsidiary of the GEO Group, which operates private prisons as well as the immigration detention facility in Aurora. Demonstrators say immigrants are required to pay a weekly fee for their bracelets. That claim could not be independently verified on Thursday.

Matt Wozniak, a member of Abolish ICE and the Democratic Socialists of America, was present at the demonstration and said he supports the disbandment of the immigration department because, as he sees it, BI Incorporated is making money off of human suffering. He said that the bracelets are noisy, uncomfortable and in some cases painful to the people who wear them.