#Not1More Deportation

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Protestors Shut Down Entrance to Suffolk Detention Center, Call on President Obama to Stop Deportations

Boston, MA – Immigrant activists and religious leaders from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont have formed a human chain at the entrance of the Suffolk Detention Center in Boston to demand action from President Obama to end the suffering caused by deportation. The prison at 20 Bradston Street has been the site of an immigrant prisoner hunger strike in October 2013 and is currently embroiled in lawsuits protesting indefinite detention.

Those risking arrest include many directly impacted by deportation, including Alejandro Gonzalez, an undocumented man from Connecticut. “I participate in this civil disobedience during Holy Week to let those in high positions in the government know that we reject the laws that criminalize our people, only for not having a piece of paper,” says Gonzalez. “Although I know I face being deported too, eleven million people need us to act.  For that reason, the word ‘fear’ is not in my vocabulary. On this holy day, we remember that we must make sacrifices to help our community.” Read more

“We came here on different ships but we are all in the same boat.”


This quote written on a piece of cardboard is the first thing I saw when I walked up to the highway directly across from Suffolk County Correctional Facility to protest deportations at the first event of NDLON’s Not One More Deportation week of action in Massachusetts (June 24th-30th). The woman holding it was waving it in the air, eyes fixed on the prison behind me, and chanting with dozens more beside her: “Up, up with education! Down, down with deportation!” I looked across the street and saw several detainees banging on their windows, holding up signs, and flashing us heart and peace signals.

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I was very interested in the knowledge I was sure to acquire at the Teach-In on how to fight deportations. The leaders, young adults, all of Latin American descent, adorning black graduation caps symbolizing graduation from Dream University, were very welcoming and enthusiastic. They were also very adaptable; they quickly adjusted the schedule and location of the Teach-In due to unforeseen weather conditions. We marched as a group to the new location, the SIM office, after the leaders talked to two media personnel and the group posed for photos. We walked a few blocks from City Hall –the initial location – to the new location; we held posters with various messages against deportation and in support of immigration reform. The walk really marked the beginning of the experience as the group chanted along the streets of Boston. It was great to see the response from people we walked by. We were greeted by wondering eyes, excited supporters who cheered us on, and a few annoyed pedestrians as we were filling up the sidewalks.


Once we got to the new location and got through introductions and an icebreaker (our thoughts with regards to our walk to the office), the Teach-In formally kicked off with a personal story from Vivian Deleon whose father was deported last year.. Following the story, three leaders presented various aspects of launching and running a successful campaign to fight a person’s deportation. The first leader focused on the legal process, particularly the specifics of the Prosecutorial Discretion. The second leader talked about the specific steps one has to take to launch and carry out a campaign; she went over the background organizing steps that should be taken, particularly the importance of communicating with the family and with legal counsel and making sure that the organizer sticks to his or her role and is not taking on all the responsibilities in the campaign. The third leader talked about the challenges involved in running campaigns, including the importance of connecting with the family. He also gave examples from the successful and unsuccessful campaigns that SIM has been involved in. After all the presentations, the last leader talked about a campaign that they are currently running to prevent the deportation of Justo Rufino and every participant called ICE to show support for Justo. Overall, the Teach-In was very informative and beneficial. I really appreciated the legal perspective of the issue and I thought the whole event was very successful and wonderfully presented. It was great to see young people treat this issue with the respect and seriousness that it deserves not only because they are affected by it but because they see the value in addressing it carefully.

June 30, 2013- Reflections on #Not1More Week of Action against Deportations and Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) Teach In

On June 24, 2013, over 80+ people and I marched down to the Suffolk County Detention Center. Claiming immigrant rights and justice for criminalized immigrants, justice was to be served. Or at least that is how we all saw it. Filled with events in honor of deported immigrants, our job was to raise awareness to the public about the impacts these un-justified acts have. While this was only my second vigil, the eventful day was became a rather remarkably inspiring, moving, and poignant moment for me. Filled with passionate activists and supporters, the words expressed moved me.

Never had I seen such passion come together over such a significant cause. From revolutionary songs to guitar strings, to meaningful chants, I was moved by every detail of this event. However, my heart sunk the most not when we were making noise for all of Boston to hear, but when we began having dialogues with convicted immigrants, themselves. Innocent, unwillingly convicted, and stuck in those gates, as we came to find them, they banged on the windows, wrote on those windows, waving their arms from left to right to signify that they were with us in our fight.

I was moved. I was touched. And it felt so good to be in dialogue with them. While their status is the only thing liberating their freedom, they used the little freedom they had beneath those walls to communicate, to translate a message to their supporters albeit us. It was beautiful. So what do we do now? What do we do today? Keep their faces and their movements on our minds, and keep fighting for justice to be heard. Their voices. Their innocence. There may be progressive measures taking place in the State and Senate, but it is our responsibility to decriminalize their statuses and help them reunite with their families. It is the only just thing to do. So let us continue to fight, sin barreras!

Reflections from Boston’s Not1More Deportation Week of Action.


Boston, Massachusetts.- No más deportaciones. Ese es el mensaje central de campaña de acción nacional donde se esta protestando contra deportaciones y educar a inmigrantes sobre este proceso.

Localmente, el Movimiento Inmigrante Estudiantil conocido en inglés por las siglas SIM, en colaboración con otras organizaciones pro inmigrantes se unieron a los esfuerzos y esta tarde realizaron actividades en el ayuntamiento de Boston donde se enfocaron solamente en educación sobre el tema

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Boston Rally
Vivian learned she was in the US illegally during her freshman year in high school, but initially she believed that her status would prevent her from attending college but have few other consequences.

She learned differently in August 2011, when her mother gave her some upsetting news, she said.

“She came home crying like I’d never seen her cry, and she just told me, ‘Your dad’s with ICE,’” Vivian said, referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal law enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security that deals with border security and illegal immigration.

Vivian, 19, who asked that her last name not be used because of her immigration status, was one of about 30 immigration reform activists who rallied outside Boston City Hall at lunchtime Wednesday before marching down Tremont Street to the headquarters of the Student Immigrant Movement.

That organization coordinated the event, in cooperation with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Inside the office, activists held a teach-in on immigration issues where Vivian and others shared personal stories.

Vivian said that by November 2011 her father had been deported, after spending time in an immigrant detention center where his health declined as a medical condition went untreated.

She came to the US from Guatemala with her mother and her sister when she was 8, Vivian said, to reunite with her father, who had already lived here for about 7 years. She now lives in Lynn.