things that matter

This Activist And Mother Believes She Received A Deportation Warning Because Of Her Prominent Political Work

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have been progressively setting their sights on activists in their crackdown against undocumented immigrants, and Maru Mora-Villalpando — a Washington-based immigrant’s rights advocate — has become the latest to receive a deportation notice.

Just days before the Christmas holiday, agents gifted the 47-year-old organizer and mother with a “Notice to Appear,” and she believes the deportation warning came because of her prominent involvement in the immigration movement.

“I believe that ICE sent me this letter and started deportation proceedings against me because they are not so much against my immigration status, but against my political work,” Mora-Villalpando told Crosscut on Tuesday.

Mora-Villalpando, who has been called a “modern-day freedom fighter,” heads the Northwest Detention Center Resistance (NWDCR), the group behind a series of hunger strikes at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington in 2014.

“ICE only knows about me because of my political work,” she said in a statement for Mijente, an organization to which she is a founding member. “I have spoken out to defend immigrants in detention and shared my story as an undocumented mother. I have sat in meetings with immigration officials and challenged their practices. They are an agency whose actions have already been devastating to my community. But with the letter they delivered to my house, they are showing themselves to be an agency that silences any opposition to their practices.”

ICE officers have increasingly been hammering down on undocumented immigrants who speak out against the agency. In the last month, Baltazar Aburto Gutierrez, a man who criticized ICE in an article for the Seattle Times, was detained, the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City’s executive director, Ravi Ragbir, and co-founder Jean Montrevil were arrested, and Eliseo Jurado, the husband of Ingrid Latorre, who has been seeking refuge from deportation in a Colorado church, was apprehended.

Organizers have already started resisting deportation efforts against Mora-Villalpando, starting with a series of Freedom of Information Act requests by the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights to determine if there was any collaboration between the Washington State Department of Licensing and ICE, which may have led to the agency obtaining Mora-Villalpando’s personal information.

“We will not allow ICE to deport Maru. Not only because we value her, but because we cannot allow a government agency that is already cruel and damaging to our communities to also silence our stories and deter our organizing,” Tania Unzueta, Mijente’s policy director, said in a statement.

She continued: “It is clear that Maru’s deportation notice is part of a Trump agenda that punishes people who oppose it. We are marking the moment in time when ICE agents are becoming Trump’s police force and targeting voices that counter their agenda.”

Read: As A Student In High School, She And Her Counselors Knew Nothing Could Get In Her Path To Success Then They Learned She Was Undocumented

Let us know if you’ve heard of any ICE arrests of local activists in your own community.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

fierce

A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

A 9-year-old U.S. citizen was separated from her mother for 36 hours after agents at the border accused her of lying about her citizenship.

Like thousands of students in our country, Julia Isabel Amparo Medina’s daily commute requires her to cross the U.S. border.

The fourth-grade student attends Nicoloff Elementary School in San Ysidro, California and was in a carpool to school from her home in Tijuana when she ran into traffic. Medina, was commuting to school in a car driven by her mother’s friend Michelle Cardena, Cardena’s two children and her own older 14-year-old brother, Oscar. When the long line to get into the U.S. seemed to be jampacked upon their 4 a.m arrival, Cardenas instructed the kids in her car to walk to the border. She assured them that when they reached it, she would call them an Uber to get them the rest of the way to their school.

But Medina and her never made it across the border or to school that day.

According to the New York Times who talked to a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, two Amparo and her brother arrived at one of the San Ysidro port of entry facilities for pedestrians at 10:15 a.m. last Monday.

Upon their arrival, Amparo and her brother presented their U.S. passports to a CBP officer who soon accused her of being someone else. Note: Amparo’s passport image which was taken years before so she did not look exactly like herself. They also accused her brother of smuggling.

A CBP spokesperson has said that Amparo “provided inconsistent information during her inspection, and CBP officers took the 9-year-old into custody to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship.”

After CBP officers the confirmed that her brother was a U.S. citizen, he was permitted to enter the U.S while his sister stayed behind. It wasn’t until 6:30 pm on Tuesday, that Amparo was confirmed to be a U.S. citizen as well and was released and admitted to the U.S. to her mother.

Speaking to NBC7, Amparo said she was “scared” of her detention and that she was “sad because I didn’t have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself.”

According to Amparo’s mother Thelma Galaxia, her daughter claims that she was told by an officer that she and her brother would be released if she admitted to being her cousin. Galaxia claims that officers also convinced her son Oscar to sign a document that Amparo was his cousin and not his sister.

When Galaxia was alerted that her children had been detained she contacted the Mexican consulate.

After being notified by the consulate that her daughter would be released at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. While the family felt relieved to be grateful to be reunited with their daughter, Galaxia says the separation should never have happened.

Over the weekend, Twitter was swift to express their outrage over the incident.

Some even expressed their dismay of having a similar situation happen to them.

Many are using the incident as an example of the racial issues plaguing so many U.S. citizens like Amparo.

So many of the comments included outside opinions from those who have yet to experience the direct targetting of ICE.

Over all, nearly everyone was quick to point out the saddest aspect of Amparo’s experience.

Read: Preschool Students Are Doing Active Shooter Drills And I Guess This Is The New Normal Now

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

America Ferrera Brings Actors Across The Border To Visit Migrant Shelters

fierce

America Ferrera Brings Actors Across The Border To Visit Migrant Shelters

America Ferrera has never been a celebrity to stay quiet in the face of injustice, so it’s no surprise that the actress-activist has boldly responded to the Trump administration’s policy requiring migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico.

Last week, the Superstore star led a group of actors, including Gina Rodriguez, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, Wilmer Valderrama, Roselyn Sanchez and Kendrick Sampson, across the southern border to a shelter in Tijuana, Mexico.

There, the group learned how the policy was impacting migrants while speaking directly with immigration lawyers and shelter managers as well as families and children. They hope through this real-life education that they will become better equipped to challenge the Trump administration in the US.

“It is easy for me to look at these human beings and see myself. … This could very easily have been my reality in this lifetime,” the Honduran-American actress told the Associated Press about the trip.

The “Remain in Mexico” policy limits the amount of asylum requests border patrol can attend to per day. The process, which has also forced refugees, including thousands of Central American families who have filed for sanctuary from violence and poverty in their home countries, to stay in Mexico, has slowed down the process and created case backlogs in the immigration system and overcrowding in shelters in Mexican border towns.

“We were able to bear witness to how the current administration is treating refugee families. We MUST demand better,” Washington said in an Instagram post. “Let me be clear: it is legal to seek asylum. When people cross our borders, their human rights come with them. We must protect those human rights.”

@kerrywashington / Instagram

According to NBC News, the visit was organized by nonprofits Families Belong Together and Harness, an organization started by Ferrera, Valderrama and Ryans Piers.

Jessica Morales Rocketto, who heads Families Belong Together, told the news outlet that one of the women she met at the shelter had been waiting with her toddler since November to apply for asylum.

“People get to the border and think that’s the end of the journey, but it’s only the beginning,” Morales Rocketto said.

Read: 20 Major Immigration Facts the American Public Refuses to Hear

Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *