You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Press Release’ category.


Elisa Benitez: 919-883-6962

Riverside HS Graduate Seeks Humanitarian Parole

Former Durham Resident Fears He Will be Victim of Violence

Durham, NC – Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza, a 2009 graduate of Riverside High School, will be formally requesting humanitarian parole at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California at Noon, today.

Felipe de Jesus moved to Durham at the age of eight to join his mother who wanted to give him the chance to grow, find a career and become someone in life.

Felipe de Jesus studied hard and graduated from Riverside High School. When it came time to apply for college, North Carolina did not recognize him as a resident. As his friends chose colleges and applied for scholarships, Felipe was overwhelmed with sadness at being left behind. His family could not afford out-of-state tuition, which was more than twice as expensive, and he did not qualify for financial aid due to his status. He gave up on his life in the United States and returned to Mexico to continue his education.

Since arriving in Mexico City, Felipe de Jesus has struggled to earn enough money to continue his education. He experiences regular verbal abuse, even from police officers, because he is gay. In addition to this abuse, he fears he could be a target of violence because of his sexual orientation. He has grown more fearful as kidnappings, robberies and killings increase in the city around him. Felipe de Jesus refuses to give up on his dreams of going to college and having a career, but he needs his family’s support to fulfill those dreams.

Felipe de Jesus is the target of violence because of his sexual orientation.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to qualify for humanitarian parole an individual must face a “compelling emergency.”

We urge Customs and Border Protection to grant Felipe de Jesus humanitarian parole immediately.

For more info:


***A vigil organized by his family, friends and community supporting Felipe and more families within the #BringThemHome campaign will be held TODAY:

Where: Iglesia Hispana Emmanuel, 2504 N Roxboro St., Durham, NC 27704

When: TODAY, Thursday March 13th @ 6pm



Erick Lopez


Burlington, NC Youth Seeking Asylum

Lifelong Burlington resident seeking to return home

Burlington, NC — Alamance County community will gather this Friday at Burlington City Park as Emanuel Mejia-Lopez  (A# 206-270-536) tries to return home.through the #BringThemHome campaign which seeks to reunite families He is currently being held at San Diego Correctional Facility and he is being processed by immigration authorities. Emanuel grew up in Alamance County. He graduated from Williams High School in 2007 and earned an Associate’s degree at Alamance Community College. Emanuel’s dream is to study medicine because he believes that everyone deserves access to medical care and he dreams to be able to provide that to others. After graduating from ACC, he tried to transfer to a four-year university. Unable to pay the out-of-state tuition rate, he was forced to move to Mexico, a country he barely knows since he was brought to Burlington as a child. In February of 2012, Emanuel had to abandon his home in order to pursue his dreams of becoming a doctor. He fears for his safety in Mexico, where he struggles to speak the language and has been robbed at gunpoint. Emanuel has done nothing wrong, his family needs him back home in Burlington, and North Carolina needs him!

Family, friends, and supporters of Emanuel will be holding a candlelight vigil to support him coming back to the United States from Mexico.

WHAT: Vigil to Bring Emanuel Home

WHERE: The Friendship Fountain at Burlington City Park, 1350 S. Main St., Burlington, NC

WHEN: FRIDAY, March 14th @ 6:00PM

This past Monday, March 10th, Emanuel began a journey back to his loved ones requesting humanitarian parole into the country  through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego.


Emanuel belongs to a group of people that were deported or forced to leave the United States because of programs supported by the Obama Administration like 287g and Secure Communities. State laws denying immigrants access to a college education, jobs, and housing also make life incredibly difficult. Some grew tired of living in constant fear here. However, upon leaving their homes, they found life even more difficult. Emanuel’s future is in Alamance County. He is one of many.

More Info:


Local Immigrant Families Come Together to Support Their Loved Ones Crossing the Border

#BringThemHome campaign offers hope, a chance to fight fear of deportation

 Charlotte, NC — The NC Dream Team is holding a ‘Coming Out of the Shadows’ event to support local families whose loved ones are returning to the United States from Mexico as part of the national #BringThemHome campaign.

WHAT: Vigil For Loved Ones Coming Home

WHERE: 100 E. Trade St, Charlotte, NC

WHEN: MONDAY, March 10th @ 6:00PM 

 This month, the Obama Administration will hit its two-millionth deportation. March is month undocumented youth have used for the past several years to declare themselves ‘undocumented and unafraid’. March is a special time for the movement, when many participated in ‘coming out’ rallies, speaking about their undocumented status publicly for the first time.

Families gathered last Tuesday in Durham, NC at Iglesia El Buen Pastor as family members of loved ones returning home declared themselves as ‘Undocumented & Unafraid.’ Families will gather once more in Charlotte, NC on the eve of their loved ones coming back.

NC Bring Them HomeFamilies of Loved Ones Coming Home to North Carolina

 “This year, we will use our Coming Out of the Shadows rallies to tell the movement that the fight to keep families together does not end with deportation,” says Elisa Benitez, a member of the NC Dream Team. “Our community is coming together to support the families whose loved ones are coming home.”

This will be the third time the #BringThemHome campaign has fought for immigrants who were deported or forced to leave their homes in the United States. On Monday, they will begin the long journey back to their loved ones across the country after crossing the border in San Diego.

The participants in this third border-crossing were deported or forced to leave the United States because of programs supported by the Obama Administration like 287g and Secure Communities. State laws denying immigrants access to a college education, jobs, or housing also made life incredibly difficult. Some were just tired of living in fear, and returned. However, upon leaving their homes, they found life even more difficult.

The #BringThemHome campaign is the only way these families can be reunited. We will fight until everyone whose lives were built on this side of the border have a chance to return home.

For more info:




Viridiana Martinez: 919-704-0599

AG Roy Cooper Says No to In-State Tuition for DACA Students

Another Democrat Throws Immigrant Students Under the Bus

Raleigh, NC – Days after the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, Attorney General Roy Cooper has thrown immigrant students under the bus.

Yesterday, the Attorney General in an advisory letter declared: “We agree with University and Community College attorneys that North Carolina law does not provide for in-state tuition for these students.”

Upon hearing news of the decision, Oliva Prezas, a DACA recipient and current student at Vance-Granville Community College, remarked: “I can’t believe it. I am devastated. I need in-state tuition! I don’t want to be stuck without an education.”

Democrat Roy Cooper follows a line of Democratic politicians putting politics over policy when it comes to immigrant students. From former Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton who in 2010 denied undocumented students the right to enroll in community colleges to Senator Kay Hagan who voted against the DREAM Act, Attorney General Roy Cooper has shamelessly played petty politics instead of opening up the doors to higher education.

Undocumented students are ready to work with public officials, including people like Republican Speaker Will Weatherford of the Florida House of Representatives or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who know “the time is always right to do what is right.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013



Viridiana Martinez

NC Dreamers Push for In-State Tuition

State Rep. Marcus Brandon Requests Written Opinion from Attorney General Cooper

Raleigh, NC – The North Carolina “One State, One Rate” Campaign and the NC Dream Team is pleased to announce that State Representative Marcus Brandon has formally requested a written opinion from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office as to whether undocumented students are eligible for in-state tuition at institutions of higher learning in North Carolina.

For 20-year-old Lexington resident Ricsy Sanchez who has lived in North Carolina for 9 years, the struggle to gain in-state tuition has had a real impact: “Right after high school, my plan was to go straight to university. I wanted to major in biology. After I graduated from Davidson County Community College, I was accepted to UNC Chapel Hill but I was unable to attend because I was charged out-of-state tuition.”

DREAMers in North Carolina have been spearheading efforts to obtain in-state tuition for undocumented youth. Last week, the UNC Faculty Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on the University of North Carolina system to grant “in-state tuition and financial aid to all people without regard to immigration status.”

** Please note that a more detailed press release will be released on Wednesday.

For more information, visit and

Visit our online petition at


Thursday, August 29th, 2013
Contact: Santiago Garcia
Rally to Support Edgar and Eloy: Victims of Workplace Exploitation and Fraud
Expedite Adjudication of U-Visa Supplement for Forced Labor & Worker’s Compensation Fraud Victims
National–Edgar Rolando Vazquez-Canto (A#205-503-535) and Eloy Flores Martin del Campo (A# 205-503-445) are currently being held at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, FL, where they have been for several months in spite of being victims of crime byWastePro USA for nearly seven years in some cases. ICE visited the criminal and immigration attorneys of these individuals, and despite the victims having cooperated with a potential investigation, testifying to the abuses and fraud that they were victims of, all are currently being detained, and false charges against them have never been dropped, much less investigated.
Edgar and Eloy are victims of workplace exploitation and fraud. They were forced to pay middle managers money under the constant threat of deportation. They are victims of wage theft, fraud, forced labor, constant threats of deportation, and exploitation.
Join members of the NC Dream Team, as we hold a rally to support Edgar and Eloy:
When: Thursday, August 29th, 2013 @ 1:00pm
Where: NC Department of Labor. 4 W Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Exploited workers should be able to go to the Department of Labor for protection from these abuses. WastePro USA must be stopped!
We urge the Department of Labor to take leadership and expedite the adjudication of U-Visa supplement for Edgar and Eloy for their fair chance to stop their deportations. Release the WastePro workers victims of fraud, exploitation, and forced labor before they are deported like several others before them have.
The NC DREAM Team is an organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies. We are dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, community-led immigrant rights movement in North Carolina. We aim to help undocumented youth recognize our individual and collective power to activate our communities. We also aim to create awareness of the broader struggle for social justice. We do not shy away from purposeful direct action and civil disobedience in the pursuit of a more just future for our immigrant community.



**English below**

“Comics Speak!” Proyecto de Arte Ayuda a Adolescentes a Expresar Sus Pensamientos sobre Identidad y el Racismo

Presentación Final: Viernes, Mayo 17 de 6:00 – 8:00 pm en el ArtsCenter de Carrboro

(Chapel Hill, NC)  Mexinegro, un Moreno, Mexicano, superhéroe multiétnico que lucha en contra de villanos racistas no es fácilmente reconocido como el personaje de un héroe, o por lo menos, aún no. Pero, si los quince adolescentes participando en el proyecto “Comics Speak!” tienen la última palabra, éste y otros personajes llegarán a ser tan conocidos como el “Iron Man o Wolverine”. Desde el principio de Febrero, un grupo de jóvenes Morenos, Latinos, y multiétnicos han estado trabajando con el artista visual Luis Franco y el poeta y escritor Kane Smego en el Centro de adolescentes Street Scene para crear sus cómics como parte del proyecto “Comics Speak!” El proyecto es una colaboración entre el público de Chapel Hill y la Oficina de Artes Culturales, Sacrificial Poets, Volunteers for Youth, NC Dream Team, y Ella Baker Woman’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism. El proyecto une a jóvenes Afroamericanos, Latinos y multiétnicos para hablar sobre la identidad racial y el racismo por medio del cómic. En las palabras de uno de los artistas jóvenes, Gerardo Alvarez, “Este programa me ha permitido usar mis habilidades artísticas para entregar un mensaje importante a mi comunidad.”

Por medio de una serie de doce talleres, cada sábado por la mañana, y su trabajo fuera de la escuela, estos jóvenes han sido entrenados en el desarrollo de su personaje, a través de poemas escritos sobre ellos mismos y sus experiencias con el racismo. De ahí, crearon su historia, hicieron un guión gráfico, dibujaron y colorearon los varios cuadros para dar vida a los superhéroes en cada pagina de su cómic. Habrá una exhibición del arte y poesía de los jóvenes, en el ArtsCenter en Carrboro el 17 de Mayo de 6-8 pm. La exhibición es gratis y abierto al público, y le dará la oportunidad a la comunidad de hablar con estos artistas jóvenes y hacerles preguntas sobre su proyecto.

“Comics Speak!” nació como respuesta a la necesidad dentro de la comunidad, de expresión, discusión, y colaboración. El propósito era dar fuerza a jóvenes de color y usar su arte como una forma de confrontar los obstáculos que ellos y sus comunidades enfrentan a diario. Pero también queríamos celebrar sus identidades y culturas vibrantes. El proyecto dió espacio e instrucción para que estos jóvenes puedan formar una relación e identificar estos temas usando arte visual y poesía como forma de comunicarse con su comunidad. El proyecto fue una extensión de dos talleres previos realizados por Sacrificial Poets de Chapel Hill, que identificaron el deseo de jóvenes de utilizar el arte para expresarse de una manera que fuera positiva y afirmando sus identidades.

El proyecto fue comisionado por el Público de Chapel Hill y la Oficina de Artes Culturales como parte de su anual “Into the Streets: Community Art Projects,” que conecta a artistas con grupos de la comunidad para crear arte temporal o permanente que directamente involucra y beneficia a las comunidades de Chapel Hill y Carrboro.

Acerca de la Oficina del Público y Artes Culturales

La oficina de Público de la ciudad de Chapel Hill y la Oficina de Artes Culturales, una división del Departamento de Parques y Recreación, desarrolla e implementa programas de arte para aumentar el acceso del público a las artes, provee oportunidades para que artistas locales puedan mostrar su trabajo y promover el entendimiento y conocimiento del público en las artes. La Oficina está aconsejada por y trabaja con la Comisión de Artes Puúblicas de Chapel Hill, una comisión de 11 miembros voluntarios establecido en 1992 y apuntado por el Ayuntamiento.

Contacto: Jeffrey York, Administrador de Artes Publicas,, (919) 968-2750

# # #


“Comics Speak!” Art Project Helps Teens Express Their Thoughts about Identity and Racism 

Final Presentation: Friday May 17 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro 

(Chapel Hill, NC)   Blexican, a Black, Mexican, multiethnic super hero who fights racist villains is not a readily recognized super hero persona, at least not yet.  However, if the fifteen teens participating in the “Comics Speak!” project have their say, this character and others will become as well-known as Iron man or Wolverine.  Since early February, a group of Black, Latino, and multiethnic teens have been working with visual artist, Luis Franco, and poet and writer, Kane Smego, at the Street Scene Teen Center to create their comics as part of the “Comics Speak!” project.  The project is a collaboration between the Chapel Hill Public & Cultural Arts Office, Sacrificial Poets, Volunteers for Youth, NC Dream Team, and The Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism.  The project brings together African American, Latino, and multiethnic youth to discuss racial identity and issues of racism through the expressive medium of the graphic novel or comic book. In the words of one of the young artists, Gerardo Alvarez, “This program allowed me to use my art skills to deliver an important message to my community.”

Through a series of twelve, Saturday morning workshops, and work outside of class, the teens have been coached in the development of their character’s persona through writing poems about their selves and their own experiences with racism.  They then crafted story lines, created storyboards and plot sequences, and then drew and colored the various frames to bring their super heroes to life on the pages of their very own comic.   The teen’s artwork and poetry will debut in an exhibition at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro on May 17 from 6-8 pm.  The exhibition and performance is free and open to the public, and will give the community an opportunity to speak with the youth artists and ask them questions about the project.

“Comics Speak!” grew out of a response to a community need for expression, discussion, and collaboration.  The goal was to empower youth of color to use the arts to confront the obstacles they and their communities face on a regular basis, as well as celebrate the vibrant cultural identities they possess.  The project provided space and instruction for these youth to connect and identify these issues, by using both visual art and spoken word as a means of communicating with the community at large. The project was an extension of two earlier community workshops conducted by Chapel Hill’s Sacrificial Poets that identified a desire for an artistic means of expression for the teens that was positive and identity-affirming.

The project was commissioned by the Chapel Hill Public & Cultural Arts Office as part of their yearly Into the Streets: Community Art Projects, which connects artists with community groups to create temporary or more permanent artwork that directly engages and benefits the communities in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

About the Office of Public & Cultural Arts

The Town of Chapel Hill’s Public and Cultural Arts Office, a division of the Parks & Recreation Department, develops and implements art programs to increase public access to the arts, provides opportunities for local artists to display their work, and promotes public understanding and awareness of the arts. The Office is advised by and works collaboratively with the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission, an 11-member volunteer board established in 1992 and appointed by the Town Council.

Contact: Jeffrey York, Public Arts Administrator,, (919) 968-2750

# # #

April 11, 2013


Contact: Jose Torres-Don

Mobile: 512-744-8804


NC DREAM Team Supports RECLAIM NC Act:

 Coming Out of the Shadows

RALEIGH, NC—The North Carolina DREAM Team (NCDT) supports Republican led initiatives for continued dialogue on immigration matters in North Carolina.  On Wednesday, Republican Representatives Warren, Jordan, Brown and Collins filed House Bill 786-the RECLAIM NC Act that includes a process for bringing undocumented immigrants in NC out of the shadows through a driving permit. As undocumented people we are living through the consequences of the failed promises in the past decade from the national Democratic Party on immigration reform. We welcome this initiative from NC Republicans as a signal of their better understanding of the value in this opportunity to move North Carolina forward in a way that is inclusive of the Hispanic Community. We call on the leadership of this state, both Republicans and Democrats, to resist the bullying tactics of extreme anti-immigrant factions and arrive at reasonable policies in the best interest of the state’s economy and public safety.

In the summer of 2006 NC changed its laws that made it impossible for our undocumented families to obtain or renew driver’s licenses. This change was made under the leadership by then Democratic Governor, Mike Easley, who signed the Technical Corrections Act on August 27th, 2006. In the years that have followed, undocumented community members have been and continue to be deported as a result of not being able to produce a driver’s license. We intend to fully engage in conversation on initiatives from both, Republicans and Democrats, for the possibility of a driving permit. All legislators must propose and pass meaningful legislation that elevates outcomes over false rhetoric of hope. We welcome all initiatives independent of party affiliation.

To address the concerns that this proposal sounds like a round ‘em up and deport ‘em type of policy, our everyday lives remind us that this is vigorously happening already to our community under the leadership of the national Democratic Party. NCDT member, Viridiana Martinez, 26, previously detained in an immigrant detention center in Florida experienced first-hand such destructive policies of the Obama administration.  Martinez states, “there is a cruel deceptiveness in the “low priority for deportation” directive from Obama that is nothing more than a talking point… we seek an alternative to the status quo”. Currently NCDT is rallying to stop the Deportation of dedicated grandfather and Boy Scouts soccer coach, Eduardo Mireles Salazar (Alien Number: 200-717-517), who has been ordered deported from North Carolina as a result of merely driving without a license. For Coach Salazar and the many others that go unnoticed, we support Representatives Warren, Jordan, Brown and Collins in their initiative to seek better solutions.

We are aware there are problematic provisions within the proposed bill and we intend to provide our voice to that discussion so that there is understanding of the community directly affected. The NC DREAM Team looks forward to having a bigger conversation about the enlightened self-interest for Republicans in NC to align with the national leadership of the GOP that has signaled a more reasonable approach in dealing with immigration and with that fostering a better relationship with a growing Hispanic political base.


The NC DREAM Team is an organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies who are dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, community-led immigrant rights movement in North Carolina. We aim to help undocumented youth recognize their individual and collective power to activate their communities.

We are gaining momentum! The North Carolina NAACP has issued a statement supporting immigrant youth. Keep calling and signing the petition so that Anthony Tata, Pat McCrory, and all of these politicians know that they must act immediately. But we have to keep calling until we have a solution!

Make A Call:

Eric Boyette (NC DMV Commissioner)  –  (919) 861-3015

Tony Tata (NC Dept of Transportation Secretary)  –  (919) 707-2800

Sample script: “Hi, I am calling to ask that the NC DMV adhere to the statement made by Attorney General Cooper saying DACA holders have a right to obtain driver licenses by NC state law. I ask that this official statement be reflected in the DMV’s requirements for driver licenses immediately. Thank you!”



NC NAACP Issues Statement in Response to the NC DOT’s Unwillingness to Comply with NC Attorney General’s Ruling on Licenses for Young People Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Executive Order


22 January 2013

For More Information:    Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, President, 919-394-8137

Mrs. Amina J. Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700

Atty. Jamie Phillips, Public Policy Coordinator, 919-682-4700

For Media Assistance:     Rob Stephens, Field Secretary, 336-577-9335

The NC NAACP is asking Governor Pat McCrory to instruct his Secretary of Transportation Anthony Tata to obey the federal rules, as upheld by N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, and issue driver licenses to young immigrants who are in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the NC NAACP President, is challenging the Governor to divorce himself from the petulant and adolescent comments of Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.  Forest is quoted as saying, “We are a sovereign state and need to stand up and push back when the Feds encroach on our ability to protect our citizens and enforce our laws.”

Barber said, “North Carolina needs to focus on unifying and lifting up all people, especially our children. Lt. Gov. Forest’s statement divides and scapegoats.  Does Gov. McCrory agree that North Carolina should act in direct violation of the U.S. Government’s laws and rules, as interpreted by the N.C. top law enforcement official? Forest’s outburst may get some applause at the tea party rallies he attends, but if this is a sign about how Gov. McCrory intends to govern all the people of North Carolina–not just the extremists, then the people of North Carolina need to know now.  Both the Governor and the Lt. Governor swore on the Bible to uphold the U.S. Constitution and laws.  And 145 years ago, the N.C. Constitution declared ‘Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force.’

The United States government has established a process that defers deportation of immigrants who came to this country illegally as children. This process, called DACA, provides these young people with the opportunity to obtain a NC driver license. Lt. Gov. Forest recently said, they should “not be afforded the privileges reserved for US citizens,” and accused President Obama of ignoring the law. ”

“We urge Governor McCrory and his administration to comply with the U.S. laws.  Make it clear in the beginning of your administration that tea party rhetoric has no place in your administration.  The NC NAACP believes the issue of how we treat our young Latino sister and brothers will play an important part in defining the new McCrory Administration.  Will you support the Attorney General, who says you should instruct the Division of Motor Vehicles to resume its sensible practice of issuing licenses to DACA young people?  Are will you force them to go further into the shadows, waiting for the comprehensive immigration reforms that the great majority of federal legislators now are talking about?”


Hon. Pat McCrory

Governor of North Carolina

116 W. Jones Street

Raleigh, NC 26702

RE: Your Position on DACA Issue

Dear Governor McCrory,

The NC NAACP respectfully requests that you support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a federal law created by Executive Order of the President of the United States. This request comes from the root of what keeps this country great. Our Constitution, created by Lincoln Republicans and African Americans of this State, 145 years ago clearly reads, “Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion therof can have any binding force.”

We pray that you do not agree with those who would use antiquated language such as “sovereign state” and who would imply a state may ignore and reject a federal law set in place by the President of the United States. We pray you reject nullification language and efforts by your Lt. Governor and those in the extreme pockets of your party. We pray that you and your administration comply with U.S. laws and declare that tea party rhetoric has no place in your administration. We pray you follow the lead of your Attorney General and instruct the Division of Motor Vehicles to resume its issuing of licenses to young people covered by DACA. The NAACP will stand in every way with our Latino and Immigrant Brothers and Sisters. We must move forward as a state not backwards!

All of this we ask and pray with respect and hope.


Barber Signature

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

President, NC State Conference of the NAACP

 cc: NAACP Members, Partners, and Friends


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

July 30, 2012

Contact: Cynthia Martinez

NC Activist Infiltrates Florida Detention Center to Prove Bad Policies Continue

Organizing inside jail, Viridiana fights deportations from inside prison

CHARLOTTE—The North Carolina Dream Team will hold a press conference today outside the OFA office in Charlotte, NC (301 East 9th St., Charlotte) to discuss our internal review of Broward Transitional Center in Broward, Florida. Undocumented NIYA activists placed themselves inside the detention center in order to find people that should have been released as low-priority cases or by the new deferred action policy.

WHEN: July 31st 11 A.M.
WHERE: OFA office in Charlotte (301 East 9th St., Charlotte)
WHO: North Carolina Dream Team

Viridiana Martinez, a member of both NCDT and NIYA and well-known activist in North Carolina, placed herself inside Broward two weeks ago in order to find women who were eligible for discretion. Claudio Rojas, a father and family man who is doing the same on the men’s side of the prison, was taken to Broward after being arrested by Border Patrol when he mistakenly drove his car into the Ft. Lauderdale port. He is now aiding NIYA in finding cases and has began a hunger strike until he is returned to his family. Viridiana is eligible for deferred action and Claudio is eligible for prosecutorial discretion.

Viridiana has been actively fighting for immigrant rights in North Carolina since first beginning a hunger strike with two other women in 2010, and has now continued to fight by infiltrating a detention center in Florida. In 2011 she committed her first act of civil disobedience in Atlanta, GA, fighting Georgia’s top 5 universities for banning undocumented students.She has also helped in the organizing or several Know Your Rights trainings around the state and help stop several deportations. She’s been in the forefront of the struggle for immigrant rights here in NC, making appearances at the General Assembly and lobbying for our immigrant rights. Viridiana has been confronted by anti-immigrant organizations like Mr. William Gheen director or ALIPAC, and has been in numerous media outlets defending our community.

Since June 17, 2011, the Obama Administration has insisted that it has been using discretion in deportation cases which can be considered “low-priority” or cause undue hardship for citizen family members. In June of this year, Obama announced extending deferred action to undocumented youth after we occupied his campaign offices for two weeks, costing his campaign thousands of hours of staff time.

In order to challenge Immigration and Customs Enforcement and GEO Group, Inc. which owns the facility, we have placed multiple NIYA members inside Broward Transitional Center to find people who are eligible for
deferred action, are low-priority cases, or may be eligible for visas. In this one facility alone, we have found dozens of people who, according to the Obama policies of the past year, should be released back to their families.

According to the information given to us by the activists inside, there are:

At least six people inside Broward who have pending application for a U Visa;
More than a dozen DREAM Act-eligible youth;
Over 60 who have no criminal record or prior deportations;
More than three dozen who are still eligible for discretion despite previous contacts with the system;
Several cases of immigrants in need of immediate medical care, including blood clots and a bullet in the spine.

We are demanding a full review of Broward along with the release of all eligible persons inside. GEO is paid $166 per day for the people they are holding that are eligible for relief. One woman seeking asylum from the Ukraine has been inside over 2.5 years despite already having a work visa, costing taxpayers more than $51,000.

ICE is aware that we are organizing inside. Just over the weekend, we heard that an abnormally large number of people were being released. We have also been told that the guards inside have been threatening people with federal prison for calling our hotline. Conversations about the facility over the phone have been cut short.

NIYA will no longer allow GEO Group or other private prison corporations to profit off of shattered families and broken lives. We will continue to organize inside their jails until the president lives up to his promises.


The NC DREAM Team is an organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies. We are dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, community-led immigrant rights movement in North Carolina. We aim to help undocumented youth recognize our individual and collective power to activate our communities. We also aim to create awareness of the broader struggle for social justice. We will escalate in our efforts to achieve a just reform that is acceptable to–and guided by–the voices of those directly affected by our broken immigration system. We do not shy away from purposeful direct action and civil disobedience in the pursuit of a more just future for our immigrant community.

For more info:

Donate & Subscribe

Donate here. Donations help us travel around the state and purchase materials for actions and events. You can also subscribe to our mailing list.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,771 other followers

%d bloggers like this: