Leaked Photos Show Immigrant Children Packed In Crowded Texas Border Facilities

SAN ANTONIO — Photos leaked Thursday from a U.S. Border Patrol facility in the Rio Grande Valley show overflowing holding facilities of immigrants, many of whom are children.

The photos show hundreds of immigrants believed to be in the country illegally from Central America and Mexico being held in crowded concrete rooms similar to a jail cell. Many of the children appear to be teenagers but some clearly are younger.

The photos have a timestamp of May 27, 2014.

A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the agency has not “officially released any photos at this time in order to protect the rights and privacy of unaccompanied minors in our care.”


2015 - The BBC went with a group of British Muslims from the Peterborough Active Youth organisation who are bringing water, food and clothing to the thousands of refugees living in primitive conditions in “the Jungle” refugee camp in Calais, France.

There they meet up with French volunteers who are also doing their best to help the refugees out. They also talk with refugees there, who have some important things to say about the situation, although for some reason one of them seems to be under the impression that David Cameron has a heart. [video]


Migration Is About Survival, Short Documentary By grass-roots community based organization We are San Juan and Erika Martinez

San Juan Capistrano is famously known for the return of the swallows coming from South America to old mission town. Every year, thousands of people visit to celebrate the migration of the swallows. While the city prides itself in this yearly event, they continue to disregard the voice of the migrant community. San Juan has a large population of undocumented immigrants, and because it is small and isolated, border patrol strategically targets the community, harasses them, deports them, and instills a sense of fear in their daily lives. Just like the swallows, the migration of the undocumented community of San Juan is largely driven by survival. A survival that is continuously violated by destructive and invasive immigration policies.
Meet Maryora, A Teen Who May Be Deported To Her Death In The Next Month
"I'm afraid because they tried to kill me one time and I know that there's a lot of violence."

WASHINGTON D.C. — Maryora Nicole Urbina is an effusive 15-year-old in her freshman year at a Chicago, Illinois- area high school. She enjoys her science classes and dreams about becoming a pediatrician one day. But there’s something that sets Maryora apart from her classmates: She spent two months last year traveling to the United States from Honduras after a gang member tried to kill her.

Full families challenge US-Mexico border with mass reentry
March 11, 2014

Any day now, President Obama, whom immigrant groups call the “deporter in chief,” will make history by surpassing the two million mark — separating two million families through deportation during the course of his administration’s five-year reign.

In response, migrant families are making history of their own.

On March 10, 250 migrants, who have lived in the United States most of their lives, attempted to reenter the country after being deported. Many entire families are returning, while others are coming to rejoin family members still living in the United States. The group is chanting “undocumented and unafraid” as they cross through the U.S. portal that separates Tijuana from San Diego. This action, part of the #not1more campaign, marks the third mass border crossing organized by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance. The action comes as immigrant justice groups are increasingly moving beyond advocating for legislative reform and are instead turning to direct action to protest the record deportations. The group says that these actions are calling attention to the immigration crisis and the way millions of families are separated by an arbitrary boarder.

Last year, 150,000 U.S.- born children were separated from at least one parent. The majority were under the age of 10. One of these stories is that of Manuel, who spent 10 years living in Ohio with his U.S.-born children and wife. According to the National Immigrant Youth Alliance’s Facebook page, “Manuel was placed in deportation proceedings after he hired an immigration attorney who he later found out was a fraud.”

All 250 families participating in yesterday’s action have lived in the United States for a large portion of their lives, creating homes and community in this country.



For the thousands of unaccompanied, undocumented minors fleeing brutal violence in Central America and attempting to enter the U.S., making the case to stay isn’t easy

Because they aren’t guaranteed a lawyer, about half of these children are forced to navigate the complex immigration system alone.

Watch our in-depth report:
With no lawyers, child migrants fight alone in court to stay in the U.S. 

Protesters In Oakland Call On President Obama To Let Thousands Of Undocumented Children Stay In U.S.

OAKLAND (KCBS) – A small, but vocal group of protesters gathered outside the Federal Building in Oakland Thursday, urging President Obama not to deport immigrant children streaming across the U.S. border illegally.

The group chanted and waved signs, demanding that the U.S. grant asylum to the refugee children, and not send them back home to Central America.

“These children are fleeing from violence in their homes back home and they are really seeking help for their lives,” said Sandy Valenciano with the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance. “This wasn’t something they just decided to do off the top of their heads. This was their last resort to the security of their lives.”

Valenciano said existing law requires that children detained at the border be turned over to Health and Human Services. But President Obama wants to weaken that law, so the kids can be deported instead.

Blanca Vazquez with the East Bay Immigrant Youth Coalition said the children are being held in camps in Arizona, Texas and Southern California under inhumane conditions.

“These are no conditions whatsoever for any person, let alone for a child,” she said.


What happens when someone is undocumented and uninsured and they get sick?

This infographic shows what an estimated 1 million undocumented and uninsured Californians might face. Even as the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare), brings health insurance to millions of Americans, many people, including undocumented youth, are left out of our changing health care system. Health care is a human right. Join the #health4all campaign.

Undocumented and Uninsured is the first study about and by immigrant youth on health care access. Researchers surveyed 550 immigrant youth throughout California–including undocumented youth and youth recently granted Deferred Action status.

We Beliebe that Another World is Possible

5 truths about immigration and criminalization that are more important than Bieber

by Isabelle Nastasia and Jenny Marks

Teen pop singer Justin Bieber was arrested last week in Florida on charges of drunk driving and resisting arrest. Because he is living in the U.S. on an O-1B Work Visa, many people reacted by demanding that he be deported. Given the American peoples’ affinity for organizing around inconsequential causes, it is no surprise that the “Deport Bieber” White House petition hit 100K signatures this week.

While Bieber’s case has captured public attention, there are a few things that we could be paying attention to instead!  In his State of the Union address, President Obama didn’t mention deportations once. He commented vaguely that we need to “get immigration reform done this year,” as he has said every year since he’s been in office. (The not-so-Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, however, remains nowhere.)

While the White House has been working on “getting it done,” groups like National Immigrant Youth Alliance and United We Dream threw down in 2013, orchestrating multiple border-crossings of undocumented immigrants, blockades of ICE bus routes, and hunger strikes. These forms of direct action escalation are challenging the very existence of ICE, detention centers, and borders.

As a result of the 100K-strong petition calling for Bieber to be be “removed from our society”, the White House is required to make a statement. As the Beliebers wait anxiously for their response, we’d like to put forth five points that are helpful in understanding the limitations of immigration reform:

Keep reading


This video captures the lives of three undocumented individuals in Los Angeles, really powerful piece that puts their own stories through their own respective lens. 


This is Hope Mathe, Andy’s courageous mother. I am sure, by now, most of you have heard of Andy’s dire situation. And I have told you my personal encounter with Andy’s brother Malcom last weekend.

Hope is going through her second fight against our broken immigration system. She, herself, has already been through detention center with Andy when they first fled here to the United States, the land of the Free, seeking asylum from death treats back in South Africa.

So why is that this beautiful mother of three has to go through this travesty not only once but twice?

She is my hero. I admire her so much for her strength.

I cannot even dare to convey the pain she is going through right now.

Please, keep-signing-the-petition. Reunite Andy with his family, where he rightfully deserves to be. No family should be going through such obstacles and pain to seek safety and freedom for their lives, for their children’s lives, for their future.

If our government and our politicians are turning a blind eye to this precious family, it is up to US to set things straight. Make the government see what they are doing right now. What are they doing?!?

The Undocumented, Unafraid, Unashamed, and Unapologetic

Los Angeles: Action in Support of Child Refugees & Central American Migrants

Monday, July 7 - 12 noon

Downtown Federal Building, 300 N. Los Angeles St.

Central Americans and Allies call on President Obama to Rescind his call to Fastrack-Deportation of Minors and to Divert $2 billion away from Militarizing the Border 

In response to the current humanitarian crisis evidenced by the unprecedented number of Central American child migrants seeking refuge in the United States,Southern California based organizations will protest President Obama’s harmful policies towards refugee children on Monday, July 7 at 12:30pm at the Downtown Los Angeles Federal Building. 

As U.S. citizens, residents, concerned civilians, organizations, community, legal experts, and families of the detained and deported, we have a moral and legal responsibility to demand that the United States government halt traumatizing and further damaging the already scarred lives of these child migrants. We demand that the children be reunited with their families, that deportations stop, and that we take humanitarian –rather than ruthless– steps towards solving this humanitarian crisis.

WHO: Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families includes local organizations, families, and legal experts concerned with the treatment and rights of Central American child migrants

WHERE: Downtown LA Federal Building
300 North Los Angeles Street Los Angeles, CA 90012


WHEN: Monday, July 7, 2014. 12:00 PM

Undocumented Asian Americans Step On Stage to Share Stories - NBC News

roup of undocumented Asian-Americans stepped into the spotlight in New York this month to share their personal stories – not for political points, or for a public service announcement, but for a play.

The performance, “Letters From UndocuAsians,” was written, produced and performed by members of RAISE (Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast), the first pan-Asian, undocumented, youth-led group on the East Coast.

“A lot of times our stories are pushed down or silenced,” said co-organizer and RAISE member Neriel David Ponce. “Our community makes it scary to tell our stories because it puts our family in danger.”

External image
SAHRA VANG NGUYEN RAISE Youth (L-R: Jefferey Louie, Maritza L., Sulgi Cho (Behind), Neriel Ponce, Razeen Zaman) perform a skit expressing the alienation they feel when others discover their undocumented status, as part of the “Letters From UndocuAsians” performance.

Read more here

Remember when President Obama said: “DREAM Act! First 100 days, for sure!” or “Now is the time for CIR.” or “Raids and separating families is not an American value.” and all the other things he used to get everyone excited?

Or maybe you remember him passing the 1,000,000 people deported mark this year. Or setting the goal of deporting 400,000 people per year. Or how he supported the expansion of [In]Secure Communities across the country, against the will of local jurisdictions and in the face of evidence of just how flawed the program is. Or how he said his administration isn’t deporting DREAMers- except when it does. Or how ICE enjoys the use of cowboy offices across the country who don’t follow what comes out of the DC offices. Or how divisions within his own party helped defeat the DREAM Act in 2010. And how certain Senators of his party continue to justify their inaction by referencing the shell of token legislation that Senator Menendez introduced….

Well, here’s a good way to remind President Obama that the Immigrant Youth Movement wants to start 2012 off on a better foot with him. Help his heart to grow for 2012 :-)

after the UGA law school panel...

So, today I was invited to talk on a panel in front of UGA law students along with two other Freedom University representatives and Roger Mills, Senior Attorney, U.S. Dept. of Education Office for Civil Rights. (I actually do not know what that exactly means, googled him, didnt find much, and when I met him, nothing said he was actually representing the U.S.Department of Education so.. heh) 

It well, I had the honor to present the issue of immigration to those law students in the perspective of an undocumented student myself, and really understanding the issue beyond the statistics. How the ban by Board of Regents mean to us undocumented students in Georgia, looking beyond the said 502 students enrolled in GA Public Universities back in 2009, and the stupid rebuttal from the Board stating they had actually turned down ONLY 2 applications this year. 

I mean you would think that most people would try to understand the implication behind the said 2 applications because it has been widely understood within many immigrant communities that we cannot one, be accepted even when we are academically qualified, and two, we cannot pay the out-of-state tuition without taking out $30,000+ private loans every year. 

so the number two.. the two students doesnt mean ANYTHING.. You shouldnt even be proud of that. We have students who are amazing and bright students who have so much potential but they give up… they believe that it doesnt matter if they want to attain higher education, because its such a unrealistic dream for them. So what does that number two mean? It doesn’t mean crapload, guys. 

Anyways, I got out of that panel, and while I was coming home, I just very upset. Retelling the audience, these student’s realities, it just angered me again. Unable really understand why we.. why these innocent young students had to go through such things. I mean we are talking about 15 year old kids telling me that they want to drop out or that they consider themselves naive for dreaming that one day they can go to college. 

And it’s like, how much have I really changed by being on that panel right? like what good did that do? I just felt so powerless and useless and unsuccessful. just plain crappy. 

On my way home after killing few hours in Atlanta parks, walking around just taking few breathers, I got an email from one of the panelist who I have been working with for a while, telling me that he had gotten feedbacks from one of the law students who had participated in that presentation.

And she said that, my story, the student’s story, our story had moved even the folks who she described as “militantly anti-immigrant”.

I was sitting on the train by self, reading that email and I just started to tear up. It was ridiculous like imagine this random girl just starts crying inside this ugly green and tan train. heh. I just felt a lot better because after the panel I was just so down and skeptical about my role in this movement. 

This post is way longer than what I had intended, but yeah, that was day. Im going up to Athens again this Saturday for another panel, and on Sunday, it’s the first day of FREEDOM UNIVERSITY !! I am soo excited.

“…President Obama will surpass President Bush’s record on deportations [by March 21, 2014, he will have deported the two millionth person]… [and] has deported more people than any previous president except George W. Bush. It is also accurate to predict that President Obama is on track to surpass, in just over five years, the sum total of all deportations carried out under the most recent Bush administration.

One other interesting piece of information - in the entire history of deportations - since 1892 - there have been 6.6 million removals. If Obama continues at the current pace, by the end of his administration, there will have been 3 million removals - nearly half of all removals in the history of this country!”

 President Obama has surpassed 2 million deportations | Stop Deportations Now Blogspot (Photo Credit: Immigrant Youth Justice League)