During Part 2 of our El Pueblo Se Defiende series, grassroots organizers shared their experiences fighting deportations under the current Biden administration and the strategies they suggest to others who want to be involved in deportation defense work in their local community.
We spoke with Xanat Sobrevilla, organizer with Organized Communities Against Deportations, Carlos Sauceda strike leader with #FreeTheYuba11, Tania Mattos, Policy and NE Monitoring Manager with Freedom for Immigrants and organizer with Abolish ICE NY-NJ, and Esperanza Cuautle, co-director and community organizer with Pangea Legal Services.
The Current State of Things
The deportation cases our communities are fighting show how far the Biden Administration has to go to fulfill their campaign promises. We can also see that policies are not being implemented consistently—and that organizing can make the life-or-death difference in whether someone gets deported or released to reunite with their family. Carlos Sauceda, a grassroots organizer detained and deported under the Trump administration shared: When the Biden administration came in we thought that they were going to make bigger changes, but it’s been difficult.
It is critical that we continue organizing our communities, fighting in solidarity with folks detained and fighting their deportations, and pushing for a “prosecutorial discretion” memo that will help us get more of our people free. Watch the webinar to learn useful tactics shared by our four presenters, and keep reading for ways you can take action in specific cases right now.
Click here the watch the webinar: Spanish, English
How You Can Support NOW
Below are current efforts that you can support to increase the pressure on local ICE field offices and to prevent the deportations of more of our community members.
Marvin is a New Jersey resident from El Salvador, who has been detained since November 2019 and is currently on his 124+ day of hunger strike, in Krome Detention Center in Miami Florida. He is a brave leader who is standing up against the abuses of power he’s experienced at the hands of ICE. As his team continues to apply legal pressure, you can participate in the campaign to free Marvin by calling or emailing Miami ICE Field Office Director Garrett J. Ripa and more: bit.ly/freemarvin
Juvenal is a 58-year old, long-time resident of Riverside, California who has been detained for close to four years in Yuba County Jail. Juvenal, known by the community as Don Juve, has been fighting to get his conviction reduced and with public pressure, the San Bernardino County District Attorney, Jason Anderson, may agree to this change. Don Juve’s deportation is imminent, but reducing his conviction would help prevent permanent separation from his 6 children, 13 grandchildren, and the community that has been his home since he was a teenager. You can learn more about his case and support his campaign by calling DA Anderson at (909) 382-3660 and more: bit.ly/FreeDonJuve
The campaign to free the 11 individuals detained by ICE in Yuba County Jail (YCJ) in Marysville, California continues to go strong. Now, six men (including Don Juve) remain. ICE has the ability to release them immediately, and allow for them to be reunited with their families and communities. Learn more about the actions you can take to support the remaining detained individuals: http://bit.ly/Free-The-Yuba-11
And Don’t Forget to Celebrate the Wins!
Cesar Elizarraraz had been detained in McHenry County jail since September of 2019. His family was fighting for the jail to close and advocating for his release, even before Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) began organizing around his case in Chicago. And on June 21, 2021 Cesar was released from detention! OCAD shared: “This was possible because of every single person who signed the petition, made calls to the Local ICE office, showed up to the rally and/or simply shared Cesar’s story on social media.”
Chris Pardaise is a Trinidadian NY resident who was released from detention after a community pressure campaign led by Abolish ICE NY-NJ. They held protests outside of the detention center when he was detained in New Jersey, before his transfer to La Salle in Louisiana. With Chris’ medical issues declining while in detention, they increased pressure with a call campaign and were successful in getting his release! Now Chris continues to fight with the Abolish ICE NY/NJ Coalition to free other folks who are still in detention.