#Not1More Deportation

7 Undocumented People Handcuff Themselves to White House Fence

Undocumented Leaders & People Facing Deportation Handcuff Themselves to White House Fence Calling for President to Stop Deportations, Announce Plans for Further Civil Disobedience in Arizona

On September 18th, seven undocumented migrants from across the country handcuffed themselves to the White House fence to push forward the demand the President stop deportations and tell him they won’t take ‘no’ for an answer despite his comments to Telemundo last night.

“The only ‘no’ we’ll accept, is no more deportations,” explained Tomas Martinez, a member of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR).  “The President can’t deny he has the power and the responsibility to stop deportations. We’re being told to wait for reform but waiting is not an option when 1,200 of us are being deported each day?”

During the dramatic protest, the group announced plans for additional civil disobedience in Arizona next month. Maria Cruz Ramirez of Phoenix, Arizona shared, “When our community loses its fear, we’re capable of anything.  My children have taught me that. Until the President stops deportations, we will begin to stop them ourselves. What other option do we have? What would you do if ICE came to take your loved one away?”

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Biographies of those involved:

(Atlanta, Georgia) – Maria is a 53-year-old grandmother who has lived in Atlanta Georgia for 12 years where she worked as a cleaner until being injured on the job. She is a volunteer and organizer with the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, advocating for the rights of Latino immigrants in the state. She first became involved in organizing four years ago, working against Secure Communities and 287g programs. She says that as a mother whose son was deported, what hurts is seeing parents without their children and children without parents. She came to Washington D.C. to work for an end to these separations of families. “I am here fighting for our rights. We have to give it our all, whatever happens.”  
(Phoenix, Arizona) – Maria Cruz lives in Phoenix, Arizona and is a mother of 3 undocumented young people who are active in community organizing. In 2011 her two children participated in an act of civil disobedience that led to her own involvement in the movement. In 2012 she was one of the riders of the “Undocubus” traveling across the southern United States working with immigrant communities to challenge criminalization of immigrants. Since then, she has been registering voters, working against deportations, and advocating for immigrant rights with a group of immigrant mothers in Phoenix and the organization Puente Movement. She came to Washington DC because the fear of deportation is personal. “I have to fight for the future of my children, and for my future. I know that whenever I am working to support them, I am risking being detained and placed in deportation. I don’t want to be separated from my children, so I am here fighting for my future. The hardest part working against deportations is meeting the families and seeing how the children suffer. Your heart can’t let that pass. The most beautiful thing that I have seen is when a person who was in detention gets out and reunites with their family."    
(New Orleans, Louisiana) – Alfredo has been organizing with the New Orleans Congress of day laborers for 4 years, and was one of the workers helping to rebuild the city after hurricane Katrina. He first became involved after his car was rear-ended, and he was arrested for driving without a license. While he was in jail, he saw how immigration racially profiled Latinos and targeted them for deportation. His experience and organizing after getting out, helped change the policy of the New Orleans Sheriff department recently announced, to stop responding to ICE request for immigration holds.  In recent months, Alfredo has met the families of people detained during immigration raids in New Orleans, and was touched by the story of Enrique and his daughters. Enrique was stopped by the New Orleans Police and deported just last week. “I came for him and his two little girls. I have seen the pain that deportations cause. But I have also seen the power of organizing, and how through the power of stories people can change their minds about horrible things they have done. If our Sheriff can see it, President Obama should be able to do the same”
(Tucson, Arizona) –Narciso is a 38-year-old Yaqui day laborer and father from Tucson, Arizona, where he has lived for over 14 years. He is a part of the Southside Worker’s Center, as a volunteer and organizer. In April of this year they were coming back from a job, when they got lost and ran into an immigration check point near the border, and was detained by Border Patrol, along with 4 other co-workers. He was taken to the Eloy Detention Center, and was eventually bonded out by members of the worker’s center. Since then he has been fighting his own deportation and volunteering with the Center. He was also one of the participants of the recent fast against deportations, where he did not eat for 5 days. “I don’t want there to be more deportations. Our children suffer. I don’t want people to go through what I did. We need deportations to stop.”
 (Tucson, Arizona) – Francisco is a 43-year-old day laborer who has lived in Tucson, Arizona for 8 years. He has been with the Southside Worker’s Center since its beginnings, 6 years ago, volunteering his time and organizing skills. Earlier in the year he was part of the fast for a moratorium on deportations. Francisco is also in deportation proceedings. He was detained along with Narciso, by the Border Patrol and taken to an immigration detention center, and has been fighting his deportation with the Southside Worker’s Center. “I believe in helping each other. In Tucson, I see other people being stopped every day. Just on my way here, the car I was in was pulled over by the police, and we were asked for our papers. I showed them my deportation papers and they let me go. They do this to every immigrant every day, and it needs to stop.”
Tomas Martinez
(Atlanta, Georgia) – Tomas has lived in Atlanta, GA for 13 years where he is a volunteer organizer with the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, a group that advocates for the rights of immigrants in the state, and where he co-hosts a community radio show, Glahriadores, providing information to the Spanish-speaking community about current events and their rights. He became involved in organizing after his nephew was deported. “Seeing his family broken apart worried about their futures. I realized it could happen to anyone,” he explained. He came to Washington D.C. to ask President Obama to stop deportations. “We have organized marches, spoken to legislators, signed petitions, made phone calls, but we have to do more. The legacy of undocumented young people and of civil rights in the United States, of people fighting for their rights at whatever cost, shows us we have to continue putting pressure for our communities to be safe. President Obama needs to know the suffering he causes in our communities. He must stop deportations.”
(New York, New York) – Rodrigo is a day laborer who has lived in New York for 15 years. He is a volunteer with the Centro del Inmigrante in Staten Island. After hurricane Sandy, he was part of a group of volunteer day laborers who helped rebuild homes in low-income neighborhoods affected. He is participating in today’s action because he says that he has seen the suffering that deportation causes families. “I don’t want my daughter to be facing that situation, of not having her father in the United States. The President has the ability to stop deportations, to make this stop, and to get us one step closer to immigration reform. There is no room for excuses.”