Regardless of the situation, undocumented family members are still expected to be available for our soldiers, no matter where they are, because we are told that families are the strongest source of emotional support they have. We are constantly reminded that their mental and emotional readiness depends on us. In a way, we are just as involved in a deployment as our soldiers, except that our war is at home. We are here fighting against deportations. Fighting against a government that does not care about family unity and does little to honor the many sacrifices made by all families, including military families.  We have provided a service to this country and our soldiers have put their lives at risk in order to protect it. If the government really cared about those fighting for it, why has it not passed a law to provide undocumented military family members with a clear path to legalization? Why are so many of us still undocumented and at risk of getting deported? Yes, I agree with all the people who did not understand why I could not get a green card. It does not make sense.

Read more here: http://www.iyjl.org/veteranfamilies/

Lulu Martinez has “come out countless times—as undocumented, queer and as a working class woman of color.” Lulu has also interacted and fought alongside many different peoples, including IYJL and other undocumented youth across the continent. Including as being a part of the #BringTheHome campaign where she was placed in solitary confinement by private detention officials and the Obama administration. Please consider donating & sharing.

Do you want to share your writing, art, music, or other creative item(s)? Want to see it go beyond the notebook, the desk, or hard drive? Today we announce the launch of ‘Creatives!’ A unique section of our website for all community members to have a safe space & creative outlet to share. This is intended to be a healing and expressive space for that reflects our community experiences as we are impacted by various social issues, including immigration issues and immigrant rights organizing. Please submit your work to: creatives@iyjl.org

Do you want to share your writing, art, music, or other creative item(s)? Want to see it go beyond the notebook, the desk, or hard drive? Today we announce the launch of ‘Creatives!’ A unique section of our website for all community members to have a safe space & creative outlet to share. This is intended to be a healing and expressive space for that reflects our community experiences as we are impacted by various social issues, including immigration issues and immigrant rights organizing. Please submit your work to: creatives@iyjl.org

RELEASE JOSE FROM DETENTION AND REUNITE HIM WITH HIS 3 CHILDREN!

RELEASE JOSE FROM DETENTION AND REUNITE HIM WITH HIS 3 CHILDREN!

Jose Espino-Cervantes (A# 205-283-427) came to the U.S. 13 years ago as a teenager in search of a better life. About two weeks ago, ICE agents went to his home, refused to identify themselves as ICE agents, questioned his wife extensively, and arrested Jose in front of his children.  His wife believes that ICE sought out Jose due to an encounter he had with Chicago police. If Chicago truly were a sanctuary city, Jose’s information would have not been shared with ICE. 

Jose is the father of three young children, his youngest children who are two and five years old are U.S. citizens. He is the main provider of his household, which means that his absence has been a significant emotional and financial burden.  His wife has been emotionally stressed as she has now had to take care of both the parenting and financial responsibilities on her own.  She is feeling completely uncertain about the future of her family since Jose’s detention.  Their children have felt anxiety over their father’s absence and continuously ask when their dad will come back.
According to the Obama Administration’s recent memo, “careful consideration should be given to cases involving parents or legal guardians who are primary caretakers and those whose minor children are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.”  ICE should be releasing Jose immediately as indicated by Obama’s prosecutorial discretion guidelines.  He is the main-provider of his family and his family urgently needs him back!

LINK: http://www.notonemoredeportation.com/portfolio/release-jose-from-detention-and-reunite-him-with-his-3-children/

The 1.7 Million

Losing a loved one to deportation, and the constant danger of having that happen, is a reality our communities struggle and live with every second. While we fight as hard as we can against deportations–organizing rallies, making phone calls, trying to get legislators on our side–we have not been able to stop every deportation. For some of us this can feel like a personal failure, like we did not try hard enough, or if we should just have made one more phone call; however, we need to remember that deportations happen not because someone has no status in the country, or because they have a criminal record and are not citizens, but rather because there is a system in place that profits off of the criminalization, exploitation, detention, and deportation of people who are marginalized in this country.

Despite controversy and advocacy from community and national organizations, the Obama administration in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have made it a priority to detain and deport 1.7 million members from our communities. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enacted a yearly quota of 400,000 deportations in 2010 in an attempt to surpass the 387,000 deportations from 2009. The profits made from these human transactions go into a cycle that pump nearly five billion dollars per year in profits to a private system, sanctioned by multiple levels of government. A cycle that pumps fear, destruction, and heartbreak into poor communities of color, sanctioned by multiple levels of government. A cycle that everyday sees 1,100 children, workers, friends, colleagues, family members, friends, and neighbors get yanked from their roots, sanctioned by multiple levels of government.

DREAM-REFER-articleLarge

On July 22, nine people at the Mexico-US border attempted to come back into the United States demanding the human right to travel and the choice to be with their families in their respective homes. Among the nine included are five undocumented youth that had been deported, one undocumented youth that had been forced to leave the US, and three undocumented organizers who went back to Mexico–out of dedication and love–to coordinate with them. One of these individuals isLulu Martinez, a resident of Chicago, student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a community member that has organized alongside multiple communities  and IYJL. Currently President Obama, and the federal and private agencies under his directive, are holding six of the nine in dehumanizing solitary confinement at Eloy Detention Center. Initially they refused food because they were denied their right to phone access, and now they are refusing food until they are released. Such actions are truly horrendous, and any such actions being taken against undocumented immigrants are a threat to justice everywhere.

Border immigration activists

Although IYJL is not a member of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, we support the actions and tactics of our sister organizations and of our fellow immigrants thousands of miles away. Even when a person is removed from their home, held in detention, or deported, they are not forgotten. They, like everyone else, are integral keys of the magical piano that are our communities. The idea of home transcends borders, it transcends nationalism, singularities, it defies definition, redefines belonging, and breaks away from the imprisonment that holds many stationary. And yet an increasing militarization of our streets and borders, and economic and social policies that target marginalized communities, continue to shatter those ideas and keep loved ones apart. As fellow community members, we have the responsibility to support our neighbors and loved ones, although far away from us they still live and exist. Their ideas of home are as important here as they are there.

It is dumbfounded to think that a country believes it has the power to make you choose between the life you are building in it and the loved ones who are far away. Many of the families IYJL is currently working with, through the Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) initiative from the state-wide collective Undocumented Illinois, are being held without a right to a hearing and bond precisely because they opted to not let the US make this choice for them. People like Octavio andCelio, who are currently in detention, risked going back to countries where they fear for their lives and leaving their lives in the US to visit loved ones that were sick. When they tried to resume their lives in the US they were stopped at the border and deported. But it was that idea established through criminalization, exploitation, detention, and deportation that kept them away. We can not allow such injustices to continue and then wonder why they happened in the first place. We can not allow such injustices to continue and then wonder why the cycle continues.

Sincerely,

The Immigrant Youth Justice League

Get Involved:

Please sign these six petitions to help us stop these deportations.

If you are from the state of Illinois and support the ‪#‎Dream9‬ calling the following legislators with the message below:

“Hi, I was calling to ask the member to sign onto Rep. Honda’s letter asking President Obama to free the Dream 9. The dreamers turned themselves into ICE at the Nogales border asking to be allowed to come home. I really think the member should sign onto this letter.”

Congressman Bobby Rush (202) 225-4372
Congressman Mike Quigley (202) 225-4061
Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth 202-225-3711
Congressman Brad Schneider (202) 225-4835
Congressman Bill Enyart (202) 225-5661

Mail letters of support directly to the nine at Eloy Detention Center.

reallifedocumentarian:

lahoops:

lahoops:

URGENT! Border Patrol said they plan on “arresting and deporting” the DREAM 8.
We need 10,000 calls, right now, demanding Sen. Durbin and Rep. Grijalva take a stand for the Dreamers and Bring Them Home.Call Senator Durbin @ (312) 353-4952 or (202) 224-2152Call Rep. Grijalva @ (202) 225-2435 or (520) 622-6788"Hi, I was calling to find out why the member is going to just sit by and watch as the DREAMers, crossing the border in Nogales, are being arrested and deported. Does the member support undocumented immigrants or not?"After you call hang-up and call back again and again and again until you get word that the DREAM 8 are safe and sound.Call ICE Principal Legal Advisor Peter Vincent @ 202-732-5000"Hi, I was calling to ask that you release the DREAM 8 into the U.S. This is their home. Re-unite them with their family. Why is the Port Authority planning on arresting and deporting all of them?"

Y’all, they’re moments away from crossing! CALL CALL CALL CALL! 

They’re at the gates! Marco about to head up reminding the listeners: “There is no fear where there is perfect love.” Lizbeth is ready to get to law school! 

reallifedocumentarian:

lahoops:

lahoops:

URGENT! Border Patrol said they plan on “arresting and deporting” the DREAM 8.

We need 10,000 calls, right now, demanding Sen. Durbin and Rep. Grijalva take a stand for the Dreamers and Bring Them Home.

Call Senator Durbin @ (312) 353-4952 or (202) 224-2152
Call Rep. Grijalva @ (202) 225-2435 or (520) 622-6788

"Hi, I was calling to find out why the member is going to just sit by and watch as the DREAMers, crossing the border in Nogales, are being arrested and deported. Does the member support undocumented immigrants or not?"

After you call hang-up and call back again and again and again until you get word that the DREAM 8 are safe and sound.

Call ICE Principal Legal Advisor Peter Vincent @ 202-732-5000

"Hi, I was calling to ask that you release the DREAM 8 into the U.S. This is their home. Re-unite them with their family. Why is the Port Authority planning on arresting and deporting all of them?"

Y’all, they’re moments away from crossing! CALL CALL CALL CALL! 

They’re at the gates! Marco about to head up reminding the listeners: “There is no fear where there is perfect love.” Lizbeth is ready to get to law school! 

30 more DREAMers followed the DREAM9 and presented themselves at the border in Nogales!

reallifedocumentarian:

 Call ICE Principal Legal Advisor Peter Vincent @ 202-732-5000

Tell him to let the DREAMers in! Release the DREAMers so they can be with their families! Also call on Senator Durbin and your Congresspeople to bring our friends and families home!

Declaration of Independence from “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”

Having lived undocumented most of our lives and having seen our family members and community experience what it means to be considered “illegal” in this country, we understand the importance for legislation and a change in the immigration laws. However, the current atmosphere in Congress, focuses on militarization, criminalization, and surveillance, without addressing the real needs and experiences of the over 11 million undocumented people living currently in the United States.

We write this statement in response to the idea of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” and more importantly, our commitment to efforts of fighting for our rights as undocumented people moving forward. Under the bill proposed  by the Senate, titled the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 and other legislation currently being discussed by the House, the “path to citizenship” takes over a decade – leaving our communities in limbo, limiting health-care access, not granting access to  federal assistance – from job training to housing to food, not addressing the inhumane conditions present in detention centers, and leaving millions of people out.

We cannot  support anything that will not give our parents what they worked decades for or what they  deserve as humans of this planet, by the time they’re in their mid 60s and nearing 70.

Our parents deserve first and foremost labor rights and medical services for their contributions to this country and they cannot wait past the age of retirement to “earn” these right. We cannot support a bill that through a guise of ‘national security’ will lead to the criminalization of our families and community  as well as an increase in deaths at the border – included are our brothers and sisters, mothers,  and ourselves. We cannot support a bill that will continue to mean immigrants in our communities have less rights than other workers.

We cannot accept this bill, or any bill, that does not begin to address the reasons for our migration, including international trade agreements that favor industrialized nations at the expense of developing nations and the people that inhabit them, exploitive international labor practices, human trafficking and violence that has a great deal to due with U.S. militarization. It additionally expands on the currently existing hierarchical system of ranking and excluding  immigrants based on race, class, gender, sexuality and countless other social markers.

The political reality is that politicians, regardless of their political party, will shape and mold their messaging around what is in their best interest. We hear excitement over a bill from the community, excitement over any bill, but we all know that no bill can give us the rights and dignity we deserve. Laws are only as strong as those that can use them, and even though our communities are incredibly strong and resilient, we are divided.

It is out of respect for our community, and accountability to them, that we come out as strong advocates, not for the bills being discussed, but for the undocumented.

All current and future generations of immigrants deserve the right to work, live in safety, travel, be healthy, and to participate fully in the society that we have helped to create. In many cases, the erosion of these rights has not taken the form of “comprehensive” federal legislation, but through the action of politicians and employers at the local, state, federal and international level. In response, we challenge people to think of multiple ways to defend the rights of immigrant communities that include  more than legislative solutions, and that do not position the Senate and House bills as the only way moving forward.

Our criticism of this political process is based on our opposition to its elements, which continue to dehumanize, divide, exclude and attack immigrant communities. We reject the attempt to divide and weaken our movement for it is only through united action that we can defend and assert our rights.

We must recognize that this bill and other efforts like it are part of what is dividing our communities. Undocumented youth, undocumented parents, and undocumented workers of different levels of education and specializations are being placed at different ends of the spectrum for “qualifying” and receiving certain privileges under this bill and this has been the continued narrative. We need to rise beyond these divisive tactics and affirm our perspective of what reform and human rights looks like through our actions. Let’s work to create the world we want to live in. 

In moving forward, we will continue to work on both local and national initiatives that re-envision and redefine what comprehensive  and what reform looks like. True reform will only happen through the work of undocumented people and not under the agendas of political parties that benefit greatly from incarcerating and deporting OUR undocumented bodies. We must build partnerships in order to tackle the many issues, both locally and nationally, that are not included in this bill and in conversations around “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” and we encourage our communities to continue to build with us.

Thank you for your support. More to come.

Sincerely,

The Immigrant Youth Justice League

My name is Stephanie. I come from a line of hardworking people.

As a result of the poverty my parents experienced in the Philippines, our family moved to the Marshall Islands in waves in order to be closer to the chance of coming to America. One year after naturalizing as Marshallese citizens, 9/11 forced my family to leave the country because they stopped shipping food and water.

Since then, we have been living in this country under expired visitor’s visas. I have lived half of my life dealing with the stresses and anxieties I share with my family knowing that everything we have worked hard for in this country can be easily taken away.

My family has been displaced here based on the exploitation of our resources and people. I have experienced the harsh reality of a country that refuses to treat me as human no matter how much I give it the love that I can’t even give myself.

How can my mom or dad remember to spend time to show they love me when they have forgotten to love themselves in a system that treats them as second class citizens, when they manage 2-3 jobs with few to no benefits and racist and abusive bosses, when they dedicate their entire lives to working because that is the only way they know how to love in this country?

What I want is freedom. Freedom from a system that ranks us in order and does not see us for our human qualities and complexities. That wants to categorize us as good versus bad immigrants, Dreamer versus undocumented workers and parents, rather than humans fighting for the right to live with all the citizens of this country that are, themselves, descendants of unwelcomed immigrants.

I come from a family that heals this country. My family cares for your elderly, your young, your sick. We are in the restaurants and kitchens that provide you with sustenance to live. We fight for liberation for all people, even those who deny us our own freedom.

I am here fighting for my family’s right and all our families across racial lines to be included in immigration reform. I am here because I refuse to let the current immigration hierarchy divide us!

Walang papeles, walang takot! (No papers, no fear in Tagalog). My name is Stephanie. We stand undocumented, unafraid and undivided.

Stephanie Camba is an organizer with the Immigrant Youth Justice League, and a spoken word artist with Elephant Rebellion. She uses her art and actions to promote policy and change for the people. She read this coming out story at the fourth annual National Coming Out of the Shadows rally on March 10th, 2013 in Chicago.

Reminder that Obama banned undocumented youth from getting healthcare under ACA.

post-colonial:

After the President granted work permits to immigrant youth, he quietly passed an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that prevents all those who benefit from receiving healthcare.

This means that DACAmented (this is what we call ourselves) young people who may be legally working at an engineering firm, Costco, gas station, or a Fortune 500 company— and paying taxes for American healthcare— cannot receive health benefits that coincide with the Affordable Care Act.

(via immigrantstories)

It’s hard..

ninjaturtlesaintsilly:

It’s already hard being 17. Having so much school and personal pressure. Having not the best self-esteem. But to top it off, it’s so hard being undocumented. It’s so much pressure that I can’t help but cry. I don’t feel normal. So much shit to do without even knowing how. Having all the problems on my shoulders because my parents and sister don’t know how to help. I only count on myself. And I feel I’m so close to giving up.

-Jess

Don’t give up. 

tranqualizer:

[photo: a photo provided ICE. undocumented migrants are beng escorted through a facility after being arrested in Detroit, Michigan.]

Nearly 205K Deportations of Parents of U.S Citizens in Just Over Two Years
The federal government conducted more than 200,000 deportations of parents who said their children are U.S. citizens in a timespan of just over two years, according to new data obtained by Colorlines.com. The figures represent the longest view to date of the scale of parental deportation.
Between July 1, 2010, and Sept. 31, 2012, nearly 23 percent of all deportations—or, 204,810 deportations—were issued for parents with citizen children, according to federal data unearthed through a Freedom of Information Act request. [See the full data set here.]
Because some people may have been deported more than once in the time period, the data represents total deportations conducted, not the number of individuals removed from the country. However, experts say that the total number of deportations of parents may be higher because some mothers and fathers fear telling authorities that they have kids. An additional group of parents whose kids are not U.S. citizens are not reflected in the numbers.
[lengthy article, worth the read. click here for more.]

tranqualizer:

[photo: a photo provided ICE. undocumented migrants are beng escorted through a facility after being arrested in Detroit, Michigan.]


Nearly 205K Deportations of Parents of U.S Citizens in Just Over Two Years

The federal government conducted more than 200,000 deportations of parents who said their children are U.S. citizens in a timespan of just over two years, according to new data obtained by Colorlines.com. The figures represent the longest view to date of the scale of parental deportation.

Between July 1, 2010, and Sept. 31, 2012, nearly 23 percent of all deportations—or, 204,810 deportations—were issued for parents with citizen children, according to federal data unearthed through a Freedom of Information Act request. [See the full data set here.]

Because some people may have been deported more than once in the time period, the data represents total deportations conducted, not the number of individuals removed from the country. However, experts say that the total number of deportations of parents may be higher because some mothers and fathers fear telling authorities that they have kids. An additional group of parents whose kids are not U.S. citizens are not reflected in the numbers.

[lengthy article, worth the read. click here for more.]

Immigration news: Record number of deportations in 2012; ICE ends local law-enforcement collaboration

immigrationnewsdigest:

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/dec/24/immigration-news-record-number-deportations-2012-i/

luigimonstre:

image

Maximino Hoz, the sole provider for this family of 7 is currently being held in Broward Transitional Center for almost 9 months now.

Maximino is a low-priority case as he was detained for fishing without a license in Florida.

Due to the detention of Max, the family has had a difficult time making ends meet. The wife, Reyna, doesn’t work and has to take care of her 6 kids. Aside from all this she has to pay for psychiatric expenses for her deeply depressed 9 year old, who has been tragically affected by the detention of his father.

She has been unable to afford it all and as such is 2 months behind on mortgage. If you can please contribute anything you can it would be great. The Hoz family has already endured and suffered enough, including their first Christmas without their father.

Please consider making a small donation. I know the Hoz’s would be so grateful.

Thank you.