#Not1More Deportation

BREAKING: Chicagoans Stop Deportation Bus

BREAKING: Following Action in Georgia, Chicagoans Stop Deportation Bus Heading to O’Hare Airport Demanding Not1More Deportation, Right to Return After Deportation.

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November 19, 2013 (Chicago, IL) – Twelve Chicagoans have attached themselves to a deportation bus full of immigrants headed to the airport to be separated from their families. The immigrants on the bus include Octavio Nava and Brigido Acosta Luis, who have been the focus of national campaigns, and who are considered “priority for deportation” due to their past immigration histories. Their families, along with action participants, are urging President Obama to use his administrative powers to expand prosecutorial discretion for people who have crossed the border back to reunite with their families.

“All my son wanted was to be next to us. They didn’t even let me give them a hug goodbye. It’s not fair that President Obama has the power to stop deportations and keep this family together,” said Maria Luisa Sanchez, mother of Octavio Nava Cabrera after seeing her son before he was put on the deportation bus headed to O’Hare airport.  “We have fought so hard. I don’t think any family should go through this,” she concluded.

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The group describes the separation of these families as heartbreaking. “Our mothers and fathers should not drive home from work fearing that a traffic stop will lead to deportation, like in Octavio’s case,” said Arianna Salgado, 21, queer undocumented leader with the West Suburban Immigrant Collective, a member of Undocumented Illinois, the organization leading the action. “The separation of these families is what enforcement looks like. Even here in Illinois every day that the President doesn’t take action is a day that more parents don’t come home,” she concluded.

This action is part of the national campaign calling for “Not One More” deportation, calling on President Obama to take action to stop deportations, and address his egregious record of deporting close to 2 million people during his term. Specifically, they are asking the President to use his administrative action to take the “priority” label off those who have re-entered the United States after being deported. These individuals are not a threat to the community, have contributed to this country, have built a life in the United States, and have no criminal record or no more than a minor misdemeanor. Those who have re-entered the United States are also a group that could have qualified under the Senate version of the immigration bill that was supported by the President, yet continue to be a high priority for deportation.

Undocumented immigrants who have been deported in the past are at high risk for being separated from their families, regardless of whether they have children, criminal records, or have lived in the country for more than 10 years. Considered “high-priority” for deportation under Immigration and Customs Enforcement criteria. This means that if immigration authorities detain them, they can be deported without contest or being able to apply for relief, they can be permanently barred from gaining lawful status, and can be criminally prosecuted for “unlawful reentry,” which is a federal felony.

Information about the 12 Chicagoans who stopped the bus:

Elizabeth Balvaneda is a 22 year student at Northern Illinois University, she is involved with Dream Action NIU.  Having grown up with parents who were once undocumented and still belonging to a family of mixed status, she has experienced first hand the fear of having her family be separated. Elizabeth has been inspired to take action due to strongly believing that the separation of families is unjust and unacceptable.
Sara is a 21 year old undocumented student studying sociology at Northern Illinois University. She first came to the United States with her parents and brother, when she was five years old. Since then, Sara has witnessed how a broken immigration system has affected not only her family but also her community. After living in fear for so long, she began to become more active in fighting for immigrant rights and realizing the power in collective action. Sara will continue to work restlessly against the deportations, immigration quotas, and the constant separation of families. She is currently an organizer with the Dream Action Northern Illinois University and Undocumented Illinois.
Gabriela Benitez was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and immigrated with her family to Memphis, TN at the age of 6.  Living most of her life as an undocumented student and her family currently facing the deportation of her father, Daniel. She recently moved to Chicago and is a member of Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) a project of Undocumented Illinois that works on stopping deportations of individuals in the state. Her father, like the almost 2 million fathers, mothers, sons and daughters have ripped away from their families due to the Obama’s administration quota.  ICE’s 400,000 quota is what keeps the deportation machine working with corporations and private prisons profiting from the criminalization and incarceration of our communities.
Hugo  was born in Mexico City in 1989 and his family’s move to the United States began in 1998 with his mother. He is a student at Northeastern Illinois University majoring in Communications, Media and Theater. He was skeptical about attending college because of his status but his father and older brother have always encouraged him to not give up and fight for his dreams. He is an organizer with Undocumented Illinois, and was perviously arrested protesting the visit from President Obama to Chicago, urging him to stop deportations. Hugo believes that no family should have to ever go through the pain and fear of being separated from their loved or fear deportation for wanting to survive.
Maria Gonzalez is an undocumented student  studying sociology at the Illinois Institute of Technology where she co-founded the student organization Undocumented Students and Allies. She came to the United Stated at the age of eight along with her parents and siblings looking for an opportunity for a better life. Her parents' sacrifice of leaving behind their country, family, and everything they knew inspired Maria to pursue a college education. After meeting a person who was currently undergoing deportation proceedings and seeing the undocumented student movement that happened to stop the deportation, Maria realized how vulnerable undocumented people were and how powerful they could become if organized. Even though no one in her family has been put in deportation proceedings, she believes that, "We don't need to wait for the separation and suffering of our own families to happen to take action on a problem that directly affects all of us. If all undocumented immigrants took action, these families wouldn't be separated through cruel deportations and immigration reform would have happened long time ago."

Jasmin Martinez was raised in Chicago, IL. Her parents are undocumented immigrants who came to the United States 23 years ago. Growing up in a mixed status family, she was told never to reveal her parents’ status because her family feared separation.  Also, she has witnessed first-hand how deportations are destroying families and her community. Jasmin is part of the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) and a member of Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD)- a network of organizations and individuals organizing to stop deportations.

Amalia Pallares, born in Ecuador, is a scholar who researches and writes on immigrant activism, social movements and race and ethnicity. She is the coeditor of "Marcha: Latino Chicago and the Immigrant Rights Movement" and author of the forthcoming book "Family Activism: Immigrants Struggles and the Politics of Non-Citizenship."
Arianna Salgado is a 21 year old undocumented student at Dominican University. She was born in Morelos, Mexico and came to the United States at the age of 6 with her mom and brother. Growing up in a suburb close to Secure Communities, Arianna witnessed her community living in fear when driving to and from work. The constant threat of deportation faced by her family and community prompted her to become involved.  Arianna is currently an organizer with the Immigrant Youth Justice League and the West Suburban Immigrant Collective, both part of Undocumented Illinois.
Xanat Sobrevilla is an organizer with the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) and Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD).  As part of IYJL she has helped organize National Coming Out of the Shadows Month in March, co-facilitated mental health workshops and Shout It Outs aimed at highlighting the importance of mental health advocacy for undocumented immigrants, and shared her coming out as undocumented story in National Coming Out of the Shadows 2012.   Xanat emigrated from Mexico City at the age of nine along with her family in 1996 as a result of an economic recession greatly influenced by foreign policies such as NAFTA.  Hoping to provide a better future for their daughters, Xanat's parents made the difficult decision to migrate to the U.S. and make innumerable sacrifices.  She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Integrative Biology.
Yaxal Sobrevilla is a Mexico City native who has been undocumented for 17 years. She is currently a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying Communication  and International Studies.   To resist against the limitations of her immigration status she organizes with the Immigrant Youth Justice League.  Yaxal will unapologetically and fearlessly continue to work against the injustice systems that keep families,  like her own, apart.
martin u
Martin Unzueta is a long-time labor and immigrant rights organizer in Chicago. In 1994, Martin came to Chicago hoping to provide a better education for his two daughters and to start his own small business. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Chicago Community and Workers Rights (CCWR) organizing and defending the workers’ rights in the workplace.  Martin is participating in the civil disobedience because he wants an end to the deportation of the very same workers that have built this nation. It is cruel and unnecessary to deport immigrants who work hard to support their families and communities. Martin was one of the first parents to participate in a civil disobedience of undocumented immigrants against deportations in Alabama in November 2011.
Rosi Carrasco has made a home for her family in Chicago IL for the past 18 years. She came to the US to reunite her two daughters with her husband, who had taken a job in Chicago. In Mexico, Rosi workers doing education research and planning. Now she works organizing the Latino community to fight for their rights. She has seen all the obstacles her daughters have overcome to finish their studies in this country due to their immigration status, and supports their struggles and decisions as best as she can. She coordinates the Comite del Inmigrante, a group that supports work against deportations in the Chicagoladn area. She was part of the "No papers, no fear ride for justice" last summer and was part of the civil disobedience at the Democratic National Convention.

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For media inquiries, contact Tania Unzueta, NDLON, 773-387-3186.

Undocumented Illinois is a collective of undocumented-led organizations around the state born out of the need to share knowledge, strategies, resources and stories between the city, the suburbs, and those working inside schools.