One of the most frustrating aspects of the mainstream conversation surrounding the tragedy at Pulse Orlando this past weekend is the erasure of Latinx/Afro-Latinx bodies from the story being painted. This is not simply an issue of terrorism or gun violence or homophobia. More than that, it’s about how folks at the intersections, at the margins of the margins, are often re-traumatized/victimized by the state and the dominant after experiencing violence or threat thereof. Nowhere is this clearer than in the the case of undocumented victims in the Pulse massacre. Take some time to read the following article in full, and if you haven’t yet, consider donating to the victims of this tragedy. (Equality Florida, the sponsor of the main GoFundMe has vowed assistance, regardless of status. However, in the coming days, I am going to try and find some more direct pathways with some local comrades. Stay posted.)

(Full Article)


This Racism Happened in Murietta, California Today

This happened today: a protest in Murietta, California, turning back three buses of undocumented migrants from a Border Patrol Center, where they were expected to be processed. The buses eventually went to San Ysidro.

Via Latino Rebels

Fascism isn’t just growing in Ukraine and Europe. It’s here too.

I’m not here legally. And I’m always scared that they’ll arrest me, and then deport me.

I got close to see what they were giving out, and it was water. And the first thing they asked me for was my license,


Undocumented Flint resident voicing her hesitation and fear to receiving aid–a sentiment that is echoed in the immigrant community.

Perhaps as many as 1,000 are not going to water distribution centers, they’re not calling 211 and they’re not getting deliveries. It’s because they’re scared. These people are undocumented immigrants living in Flint, mostly on the city’s east side.

For-profit detention centers force undocumented immigrants to work for $1 a day | Raw Story

The L.A. Times reported on Monday that migrants cross the border into the U.S. then find themselves rounded up into the detention facilities and put to work cleaning, landscaping, cooking and performing other functions that would normally be handled by hourly workers.

The article detailed the case of Honduran migrant Delmi Cruz who was held along with her 11-year-old son at a family detention center in rural Texas. Cruz said she got to work right away when she arrived at the facility.

“I worked immediately,” Cruz told the Times. “In order to have something to eat, to buy treats for my son.”

She made $3 per day cleaning bathrooms, hallways and other parts of the detention center. At the commissary, she could buy her son a bag of potato chips for $4 or a bottle of water for $2. The prison facility is run by Geo Group, which the Times says is the country’s second largest private prison company.

Migrants and their activists are rebelling against the practice and inmates in Colorado and Massachusetts have filed suit saying they have not been paid at all for working.

“We have a name for locking people up and forcing them to do real work without wages. It’s called slavery,” said Carl Takei of the ACLU’s National Prison Project.

(Read Full Text) (Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn)

What HIV testing is like when you’re queer, black & undocumented
August 8, 2014

Last fall, I received a call from an old partner I had not spoken to in six-months. In the middle of debating whether to answer or not, I accidentally accepted the call and heard his voice. I went to get tested and I’m HIV positive, you need to get tested, he quietly explained. He sounded tired, filled with the kind of panic that comes after days of shock and denial. It was the same tone I remembered carrying in my voice one day in Boston as a glass bottle flew towards me—then shattering as it hit me—followed by an older White male calling me “illegal.” I heard his voice and I could not breathe. I was scared for him, for me, for life.

After the phone call, all I could think was: Can I even get tested?Growing up undocumented and queer on the East Coast meant only seeing a doctor when my temperature was over 104º or there were free clinic drives at local non-profits.

I could not sleep for more than two hours. I could not eat. I could not concentrate. During the week after the phone call, I kept running through scenarios in my head about how to go to the doctor and not disclose my immigration status. I was afraid that if I had HIV, the government would think I was a threat and deport me. I could see the headlines blaming undocumented immigrants for the HIV virus. I was afraid of the attacks on my community, my family, and myself. But above all, I was afraid that if my mother found out, her body would be too weak to endure the shock. My mother’s shoulders, limbs, and spirit carried the trauma of not seeing her mother in about twenty years, of having a deceased daughter, and of surviving years of domestic violence. If I was diagnosed with anything, I could not tell her. I could not burden her with another worry when she is still healing from the open bruises that hide underneath her clothing, her vulnerabilities only exposed in 30-minute phone calls to Abuelita Belen. I could not disclose negative news with the face of my younger sister still blurring in her mind, the remnants of a grave abandoned almost two decades ago when the cemetery did not receive the seventh-year payment.

The phone call scared me. It was about more than just papers and sexuality. I had just moved to Connecticut and didn’t know the area. I had to come out to a new friend as undocumented, queer, and potentially living with HIV. She dropped everything, not knowing exactly what to say, and took me to get tested. Stop one was Planned Parenthood. Approaching the glass window felt like I was about to enter an immigration check point. I had to act American: make sure my accent did not slip off my tongue; make sure I wore colors that didn’t make my skin look too Black; make sure I rubbed the nail polish completely off of my fingernails; remember to wear the button-up I would never have been able to afford if it weren’t for the $1/pound section at the thrift store. I was finally going to get tested.

Planned Parenthood turned me away from getting an HIV test. I did not have a U.S. ID. I had a Mexican matrícula. We’re sorry, but you need a state or federal ID. If you can’t provide that, you must pay full price for any check-up, test result, or anything of the matter. I walked out, something I was used to after living undocumented for sixteen years. As I pushed through the door, the thought hit me that maybe I experienced this not just because of just my immigration status, but because the lives of poor, queer, people of color do not matter to society.

Stop two was a free clinic a few miles away. Denied.

Local college clinic next, wait list. Maybe in two months.

Crying in a borrowed car outside a Rite Aid parking lot at 3:47 p.m. on a Tuesday appeared to be the only type of healthcare I would receive.

Hours later, many miles away, I finally found a clinic that would test me. No questions asked. Negative.

I moved to Los Angeles three-weeks ago, where, for the first time, I have seen organizations that work to gain healthcare for undocumented immigrants. It’s unbelievable to me that we even have to fight for such a basic human right. I am done feeling that I don’t deserve my health. This country has systematically conditioned me to think that I’m not good enough because I’m too Latino, too Black, too Gay, too easy to Mispronounce, too Savage—Illegal Alien. Healthcare is a human right, but in the US healthcare is only for those who can pay. I cannot live a healthy life when I can’t remember my last eye doctor visit or experience the security of a bi-yearly checkup.

My blackness does not make me invisible. My queerness does not make me illegitimate. My immigration status does not make me alien. I am in these positions because of a complex colonial history that has enslaved people that look like me; burned people who painted their nails like mine; shot people whose coffee tasted like the coffee in my backyard in Mexico; trafficked people that would do low to no-wage work like those in my family.

I am afraid I can’t even afford to die. Healthcare is the least this country could do for its people, our people.

Alan Pelaez Lopez is an AfroLatin@ that grew up in Boston via La Ciudad de Mexico, documenting his existence as an undocuqueer poet, jewelry designer, and bubble tea addict. Alan currently works at the Dream Resource Center in Los Angeles, which is a project of the UCLA Labor Center. He is a member of Familia: Trans*, Queer Liberation Movement.


“Oscar” Academy Award Statue Modeled After Undocumented Immigrant Emilio “El Indio” Fernandez

At the Academy Awards, the Oscar statuette is as iconic as the gowns and the red carpet. With his square shoulders, tapered legs, and strong features, Oscar looks like an art deco god. But, as familiar as he may be, it turns out we don’t know Oscar very well. 

For one, Oscar’s name isn’t Oscar.

Those broad shoulders belonged to Emilio Fernandez — a.k.a. “El Indio.” He was an actor in dozens of Hollywood films, one of Mexico’s greatest directors. Fernandez worked on Night of the Iguana, acted in The Wild Bunch, and directed dozens of films. But his own life was the real adventure movie.

Fernandez was born in Coahuila, Mexico in 1904. His father was a soldier, his mother a Kickapoo Indian. He grew up during the bloody revolution of 1910-17, was a teenager when Pancho Villa was killed, and dropped out of high school in the fall of 1923 to become an officer for the Huertista rebels. The following spring, after the rebellion was quashed, Fernandez was captured and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He escaped soon after (thanks to some dynamite) and crossed the border to Los Angeles, where he lived in exile for the next decade.

It was there, while working as a bus boy, that Fernandez got his break in the movie business. Some crew from The Thief of Baghdad were eating lunch at his restaurant and, desperate to come up with an opening sequence, pulled Fernandez over. He offered a simple idea, they took it, and the next day, the studio sent Fernandez a new Ford. His career in Hollywood had begun.

But Fernandez owes his tribute in gold to the silent film star Dolores Del Rio. She was his muse, his unrequited love… and MGM Art Director Cedric Gibbons’ wife. In 1927, shortly after the Academy was founded, Gibbons was tasked with designing an award statuette. He’d sketched a figure of a knight holding a sword and standing on a reel of film. He was looking for a suitable life model and Del Rio suggested that Fernandez would be perfect. She asked, he agreed. He stood for hours in the nude while they shaped the statue. And the rest, as they say…

The very first Oscar was handed out on May 16, 1929. In the years that followed, Emilio Fernandez received amnesty for his role in the Huertista rebellion and returned to Mexico to direct films. In all, he directed over 40 movies. His most famous, Maria Candelaria, won the Grand Prix at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. He died in 1986.

And no, he never did win an Oscar. Or, perhaps we should say, an Emilio.

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.”

Jane Sanders Visited A Controversial Immigrant Prison In Arizona. She Left Horrified.
Arpaio had no answers about his department's systemic racial profiling efforts.

Joe Arpaio, an Arizona sheriff who rose to fame by making use of controversial anti-immigration enforcement efforts, gave Jane Sanders an unexpected tour inside his infamous “Tent City” immigrant prison on Sunday. She concluded the conditions are “horrific.”

Sanders, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, came to Phoenix to meet with families affected by Arpaio’s discriminatory and unconstitutional law enforcement practices. Planning to view the conditions through the fence of Tent City — an outdoor extension of the Maricopa County jail covered with canvas tents meant to hold more than 2,000 immigrant detainees — Sanders was “surprised” when Arpaio invited her in.

Arpaio created Tent City more than 20 years as an outdoor jail to deal with overcrowding in his main jail. The heat can rise up into the triple digits during the summer months in Phoenix, Arizona, leaving the tent structures to primarily serve as brutal physical punishment. Arpaio once characterized Tent City as his own “concentration camp.”

While visiting the tents, Sanders and Arpaio — who endorsed Trump earlier this year, citing the GOP frontrunner’s tough stance on undocumented immigrants — clashed over the conditions at the outdoor jail.

Sanders tweeted that Arpaio admitted that “the temperature in the tents were up to 130 degrees in the summer” and that he removes meat from all of the prisoners’ meals. Arpaio, meanwhile, insisted that the conditions at Tent City are appropriate. “These are all convicted (inmates). They’re all doing their time,” he told Sanders, according to The Arizona Republic.

But according to the American Civil Liberties Union, Tent City’s population consists of mostly pre-trial inmates who haven’t yet had a chance to bring their case before a judge. Some of them have low-level offenses like driving without a license.

(Continue Reading)


“Immigrant rights activists organized the protest in response to the recent decisions by most Oregon sheriffs to stop honoring immigration officials’ requests to hold cleared inmates for deportation without a warrant or court order. Washington County was one of the first to change its immigration detainer policy last month. Activists said they wanted to ensure that Garrett complies with the new policy and let him know they won’t forget the deportations that have already taken place. ” - Andrea Castillo for The Oregonian


Oregon DreamActivists

Photographer: Jose David Jacobo

#Repost @rommyyy123 ・・・
New sticker that will probably be made available either for free or on donation sometime in February. 2016, you came delivering agonizing blows to un pueblo that’s been holding out for so long for a sign of relief y alguna esperanza- puros chantajes, politicos de mierda playing with our lives. Ya basta. Tired of patrolling my anger- que se pudra la migra. In solidarity with all the folks and fams feeling the fear, anger, frustration, sadness and violence that comes with being targets of la migra and the bigger systems at play. Resisting, surviving and healing in any and all the ways we know how- for ourselves, our parents, our children, our partners, our fams, our communities. Nunca nos rendiremos. Somos seres divinos and you will feel our wrath #FuckLaMigra @culturestrike #art4 #art4change #artivism #artivist #activist #politicalart #humanrights #socialjustice #immigration #migration #migrantpower #pinchefrontera #borderlands #Not1More #undocumented #unaccompaniedminors #undocuqueer #woc

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“In 2012, the Obama administration deported 409,849 undocumented [people], the highest number of deportations on record so far. Overall, 1.5 million undocumented [people] were deported in President Obama’s first term. And while deportations break families apart, it is hardest on children, especially those born in the United States who regularly stay behind when their parents or guardians are deported. The number of children left without guardians has tripled in the last five years, from 8,041 in 2008 to 24,481 children in 2012, and these numbers may represent only a fraction of the total number.”

Why Immigration is a Feminist Issue 

(Photo Credit: From ‪#‎ShutdownICE‬ action in San Francisco, January 26th, 2016, by Reyna Maldonado)

See Also:


Bernie Sanders visits the border in Nopales, Arizona. [x]

Listen to his statement here


- States that immigration is personal issue as a “son of immigrants”. 

- Condemns Trump’s xenophobia

- Calls out Arpaio’s inhumane treatment and detainment of immigrants

- He says he will push for comprehensive immigration reform and will expand Obama’s DACA and DACA. 


- Calls out Clinton’s support for the deportation of Central American children

- supports family reunification, and the return of other deported immigrants 

- Talks about his opposition to the 2007 immigration bill due to its part on guest worker programs which is “akin to slavery”

- Supports increase in border security technology

- Talks about tackling the economic causes of Latin American migration, mentions NAFTA

- Rethink War on Drugs by treating substance abuse as a health issue and not by “locking away people or engaging in military like conflict in Latin America”