#Not1More Deportation

BREAKING: San Francisco Blocks Deportation Buses

For livestream of the action, click on 18Million Rising

In wake of unprecedented protests in AZ, Bay Area groups urge national halt to deportations in order to jump start immigration reform

Just moments ago, dozens of undocumented immigrants and allies peacefully sat down in front of the San Francisco offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and blocked a bus filled with community members en route to deportation.

The action is occurring at 630 Sansome Street in San Francisco.

Today’s protest marks the expansion of a national movement to pressure the President to use his existing executive authority to halt painful deportations of immigrant community members – a move which will bolster efforts in Congress to win inclusive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented Americans.

I’ve been in that bus before, and I remember how powerless I felt,” said Dean Santos, a local immigrant youth leader with the Asian/Pacific Islander organization ASPIRE who once faced deportation himself and spent days in a detention facility in Arizona. “Now, I’m coming back with the power of our communities in our effort to stop the separation of families.”

Faith leaders also joined the direct action. Father Richard Smith, Vicar of St. John the Evangelistdescribed the experience of one of his congregants who was deported:

“One night she was coming home from her night job at the hospital, and she was pulled over for a broken taillight.  When she was booked her fingerprints were given to immigration, who then deported her.  Her two little boys did not know where she had gone, she did not come home, she was not able to call them for ten days until she had landed in Mexico.  It’s stories like these I hear over and over again in my neighborhood, and they break my heart… Jesus himself said whomever welcomes the stranger, the immigrant, welcomes Him,” said Fr. Smith, as he walked into the street alongside Alex Aldana, an undocuqueer demonstrator with East Bay Immigrant Youth Coalition, and several others.

This demonstration is part of a trend of escalation in immigrant rights protests, such as the recent DREAM 9, or very recent DREAM 30.  It is also one of a growing number of protests where demonstrators have peacefully stepped in front of deportation buses to stop them.  These protests include the demonstration in Phoenix where DREAMers stopped a bus departing from an ICE station and the one in Tucson, where demonstrators stopped a bus at one protest, and shut down an immigration courthouse at another.

In fact, many of the same activists leading Thursday’s event are just returning from those groundbreaking protests in Arizona earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is nearing the grime milestone of 2,000,000 deportations, and last year alone spent more than $18 billion on separating families, even as programs for seniors and wounded veterans were being cut. In response, both San Francisco and the State of California have recently passed landmark measures to limit deportations of hard-working immigrants and keep thousands of families together.

With the devastating toll each deportation takes, local immigrant rights activists are taking action before those measure even go into effect, while urging both the White House and Congress to immediately follow suit.


Hairo Cortes
I came to the US with my mom and brother 13 years ago. We settled in Santa Ana where I went and continue going to school. About a year and a half I joined the Orange County Dream Team and began helping other undocumented immigrant youth like myself apply for Deferred Action. I am doing this because the president can stop all deportations whenever he wants and if he won't do it, it's up to us as undocumented people to do so ourselves.
Tim Huey
a staff member with Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. He is the grandson of Chinese immigrants who faced a broken immigration back in the early 1900s. Family has always been the most powerful factor in his life, as a support system, people to learn from, and inspiration. He does this for them and for all the families that are being faced with the fear of being torn apart by deportation and the broken immigration system.
Dean Santos
a Core Member of ASPIRE, came to this country at the age of 12 from the Philippines. He was taken into custody by ICE and detained in Florence, AZ almost two years ago which exposed him to the hardships and struggles of those inside the immigration prison. Upon realizing that his case was not an isolated event, that people in detention are fighting to stay with their families. Dean decided to become politically active upon his release after making a promise to his cellmates that the separations must stop.
Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto
senior pastor at Glide Memorial Church. A scholar, activist, and pastor, Karen has been a leading voice in The United Methodist Church for lgbt inclusion. In SF, she works for justice and compassion for those society overlooks and places on the margins.
Alex Aldana
Alex Aldana (26) is a queer undocumented immigrant, movement organizer with the East Bay Immigrant Youth Coalition,using his uncensored opinion on political and radical view with the current U.S. Terrorism against Queer and Immigrant COMMUNITIES.