#Not1More Deportation

All posts tagged phoenix

Imagine the person you love most being taken from you. Your spouse, your parent, your sibling, shipped off with little warning. Or imagine having grown up in the United States and being deported to a country in which you have no friends or family, no prospects for work. You don’t even speak the language.

For scores of people, these scenarios are not imaginary. Every day, about 1,000 people are deported from the United States. Devastated spouses and children, families torn apart by U.S. immigration policy, are left to pick up the pieces. This week, dozens of people affected by the U.S. deportation policy are marching the Trail to End Deportations. Their trek began at the Phoenix office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office and ends at the Eloy Detention Center, drawing attention to the immoral practice of mass deportation.

“We walk to Eloy as part of the National Day of Action against Deportations because we need to make our suffering known, and also our power,” the marchers wrote in a recent statement. “Eloy is known as one of the worst detention centers in the country: two people committed suicide there in the last year and solitary confinement is a regular punishment for trying to exercise your rights inside.” Read more


Monday morning I woke at dawn and drove an hour from Phoenix to the small town of Eloy, Arizona. It was pretty warm already and I knew the Arizona sun would only grow hotter. I grabbed my bandana and prepared to chain myself to the entrance of one of the largest detention centers with the worst reputation in the United States. There were six of us in all — two men and four women. One was 16-year-old girl named Sandy Estrada. Her brother was detained inside.

“I am doing this so he and everybody else in there knows that we support them,” she said. “Obama has the power to keep families like mine together. He hasn’t done a thing.”

Eloy has enough beds for 1,600 people and has already had two men commit suicide inside this year. The prison was responsible for the placing of six of the Dream 9 — student activist who attempted reentry into the United States as protest July — in solitary confinement. The prison is run by Corrections Corporation of America, whose reported revenue has doubled throughout the 2000s as the federal government has contracted it to hold an increasing number of undocumented immigrants. Read more

Phoenix Shut Down
On Friday, protestors locked themselves to the wheels of buses carrying detainees destined for Operation Streamline, a federal court they cite as the worst example of the criminalization of immigrants. As a result of the protest, it's reported that those on the bus were immediately repatriated instead of facing felony convictions and months in private prisons before being deported. After two days of conferencing over the weekend, the Day of Action to Shut Down ICE began with six people, including Sandy Estrada who's brother has been in detention for nearly a year, chaining themselves together on the entry road to the notorious privately-run Eloy Detention Center. After bringing attention to the facility and disrupting its activities, protestors unchained and joined several hundred in Phoenix for a march and protest determined to prevent any deportations from being processed through the building today. Read more

Phoenix Daca for All

PHOENIX — President Barack Obama came to Phoenix on Tuesday to speak about the housing market, but dozens of activists showed up with their own agendas. Among them were critics of the President’s deportation policy.

More than 40 immigrant rights activists gathered outside of the high school where the President spoke, some holding signs that called Obama “Deporter in Chief” — a reference to the record-breaking deportation numbers during his presidency.

They also called for the release of nine young immigrant activists who were recently detained after they crossed into the country without documentation.

“We are here to ask president Obama to stop the deportations,” said Carlos Garcia of the Phoenix advocacy group, Puente. “You can’t come to a place like Arizona, that has been the epicenter of this issue with Sheriff Arpaio and 1070, and not address immigration.”

The President did manage to mention immigration — though only briefly.

In the plan he unveiled to improve the housing market, one step was fixing the nation’s broken immigration system.

That line got big applause.

“It’s pretty simple, when more people buy homes and play by the rules, home values go up for everybody,” Obama said. “And according to one recent study the average homeowner has already seen the value of their home boosted by thousands of dollars just because of immigration.”

He went on to urge the audience to encourage House Republicans to “stop dragging their feet” on passing immigration reform.

Nik Theodore Phoenix Forum

The same day that the Senate voted to pass immigration reform, hundreds in Phoenix, AZ attended a community forum to discuss and address the crisis of confidence in local police caused by their involvement in immigration enforcement.

Community members targeted by racial profiling and raids spoke out and heard from Dr. Nik Theodore of University Illinois Chicago who wrote the study: Insecure Communities: Latino Perceptions of Police Involvement in Immigration Enforcement  based on data from Phoenix and three other cities that shows nearly 1/2 of Latinos are less likely to call the police, even when victim of a crime, because of their fear of immigration consequences.