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April 11, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jose Torres-Don

Mobile: 512-744-8804
Email: jose.torresdon@gmail.com

 

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.

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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!”

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NAACP

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

22 January 2022

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?”

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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.

Respectfully,

Barber Signature

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

President, NC State Conference of the NAACP

 cc: NAACP Members, Partners, and Friends

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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, 2021

Contact: Cynthia Martinez
cinth.martinez91@gmail.com
919.895.0253

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.

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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: http://action.dreamactivist.org/btc/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 29, 2022

Contact: Viridiana Martinez    (919)704-0599

dreamteamnc@gmail.com

ncdreamteam.org

Youth Come Out as UNDOCUMENTED and UNAFRAID in NC Legislature

 

Undocumented Youth Face Anti-Immigrant Committee in NC Legislature

As the newly developed Standing House Committee on the State’s Role on Immigration works on drafting a comprehensive anti-immigrant plan for NC, undocumented youth are determined to drop the fear and face the members of this committee by showing up at the committee’s meeting and making themselves heard.

“My name is Uriel Alberto; I am undocumented, unafraid, and unashamed!” Uriel is an undocumented youth who is determined to be present at the committee’s meeting. When asked why he simply states “I refuse to be bullied and intimidated by this committee and choose to empower my community.”

This will be the third of a total of six meetings that this committee will have. These committee meetings are open to the public and like in the past two meetings a large number of anti-immigrant supporters are expected. The environment that these undocumented youth will be in will be a hostile one.

NC DREAM Team and other undocumented youth will show presence in tomorrow’s meeting in an effort to stop the spread of Arizona SB 1070 copycats across the south and a possible similar bill draft for NC.

Where: 16 West Jones St. Raleigh, NC 27601; ROOM 643 Legislative Office Building,

When: 1:00 pm, 2-29-2012

What: Undocumented Youth Face Anti-Immigrant Committee in NC Legislature

Who: NC DREAM Team

# # #

Photo via Charlotte Observer

UNDOCUMENTED YOUTH DROP THE FEAR IN NORTH CAROLINA

PRESS CONFERENCE ALERT

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Domenic Powell (704) 281 - 9911
Jose Torres-Don (512) 659-1829

The NC DREAM Team will hold a press conference today in Charlotte

When: Thurs., Sept. 8, 2011 at 12:30pm
Where: Mecklenburg County Courthouse
832 East 4th Street, Charlotte, NC

We invite the immigrant community and the community of North Carolina to join us  today. Three of the #NC7  undocumented youth arrested at the immigrant rights rally Tuesday have been released. They will speak directly about their experiences.  Please spread the word and join us.

And please help us take action in stopping “Secure Communities” throughout our country. Sign our petition here and spread the word.

**UPDATE** See full release below.

Contact:
Domenic Powell (704) 281 - 9911
Jose Torres-Don (512) 659-1829
domenic@theniya.org

Three of ten undocumented youth released, will hold press conference today
ICE begins deportation proceedings, futures remain unclear

CHARLOTTE—Three of the ten undocumented youth arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina this Tuesday for protesting against both the discriminatory practices at public colleges in North Carolina and the devastating effects of 287g and Secure Communities have been released.

Santiago Garcia, Martin Rodriguez and Manuel Vazquez were released late last night. The other four participants, Cynthia Martinez, Marco Saavedra, Alicia Torres-Don and Angelica Velazquillo will appear in court at 1PM today. The other three undocumented activists who were arrested, Mohammad Abdollahi, Isabel Castillo and Viridiana Martinez also remain in jail.

By releasing three of the ten undocumented arrested at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, undocumented youth have proven that they can stand up to an administration eager to deport them.

“We stood up for what we believe in,” said Manuel Vazquez. “But more importantly, we stood up for ourselves and our communities.”

The action marked exactly one year before the Democratic National Convention. Until this point, Democrats have been the assumed allies of immigrants, in the face of Republican governors supporting anti-immigrant laws like Arizona’s SB1070. However, anti-immigrant policies such as 287(g) and Secure Communities have flourished under this Democratic president. Undocumented youth should not be expected to support a president who has deported more people than President Eisenhower during Operation Wetback.

Garcia was issued an Alien Number and issued paperwork stating that he was going to be transferred to Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. Several other participants were issued Alien Numbers or placed in immigration holds. The future of their deportation cases is unclear. However, this action shows that the Obama Administration either still actively deports undocumented youth or has absolutely no control of its local offices.

“I thought I was on my way to Georgia,” said Garcia. “I sat in jail for hours not knowing when and if I would see my family soon.

The seven participants are now calling upon undocumented youth across the country to harness the power of being public about their status and challenge this administration’s 287(g) and Secure Communities programs. A press conference will be held today at 12:30PM in front of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, where the three released participants will discuss the protest, their time in jail and their plans for the immediate future.

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WHO: Manuel Vasquez, 21, of Raleigh
Martin Rodriguez, 20, of Hamptonville
Santiago Garcia, 20, of Asheville
WHAT: Participants in the civil disobedience action at Central Piedmont Community College, three of whom have been released, call on undocumented youth to shed their fears and commit t holding Democratic party leaders accountable for the injustices they perpetuate against immigrant communities.
WHERE: Mecklenburg County Courthouse; 832 East 4th Street, Charlotte, NC
WHEN: Thurs. September 8, 2021 at 1:00 pm.

Ever since I begin to understand a little bit more about how injustices were oppressing my community, I hadn’t realized that there are actual people who really dislike people like me. I profoundly believe that people begin to create assumptions, and opinions based on the amount of information they hear about people like me. This is precisely why I tried to answer some of the though questions.

Now, you may ask, who are people like me? Well, as I have explained before, my name is Jose Rico Benavides. I am a community college student. I am Undocumented, Unafraid, and Unashamed to not only speak out against the many injustices that affect the migrant community, but also take action about it.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, hate is defined as an “intense hostility usually driven from fear, anger or sense of injury.” Is it hate what they really feel? My guess would be yes. When someone calls you “an illegal immigrant,” using the word illegal is very inappropriate when referring to a human being. No human being is illegal!!

In the morning of June 1, 2011, Rep. Dale Folwell from Forsyth County, NC approached an NC DREAM Team member, yours truly, and asked him: Are you the one that called me a coward? Are you the one?” Of course, he was referring to this press release the NC DREAM Team issued in regards to the introduction of HB 744. Rep. Folwell came with a posture and body language that was disrespectful and intimidating asking these questions, and more over when he went on and asked, “Do you have the balls to tell it to my face?” At that moment, I felt frightened and fearful that the representative would lash out at me if I would have answered honestly, so I remained silent and kept my cool. Folwell escalated at the end of the conversation by asking, “Are you an illegal immigrant?” At that point, I decided to completely ignore his behavior by not answering his questions that surely attacked the integrity of my team and mine, I simply responded: “I am not going to answer to that.”  

Provided by Walter Gomez, La Conexion

If you read the press release, it clearly states:

“Requiring children to register their immigration status with their schools will inevitably result in discrimination, harassment or exclusion. Plain and simple, the legislators who support these bills are unprincipled cowards.”

Rep. Folwell, we are attacking the issue of asking children for their immigration status as a qualification to enter K-12 public education. We are not singling out any representative, just how you felt. We are simply calling out the bills and politicians who support anti-immigration legislation that attack our communities and children.

Contact:
José Rico (919) 802-0508
dreamteamnc@gmail.com
ncdreamteam.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cowards in the General Assembly Propose Bill Attacking Children
NC DREAM Team vows to stop the attacks on undocumented youth

RALEIGH, NC—Although not a single “restrictionist” bill in the General Assembly has addressed the biggest employers of undocumented immigrants in the state—state farms—several bills have attacked school children and college students. By proposing HB 744, a bill that would force students to reveal their status to school officials, North Carolina legislators are telling undocumented immigrants working and living in our state that they are good enough to pick its residents’ food, but not good enough to sit next to them in class.

“Our communities are under attack,” said Viridiana Martinez, an undocumented immigrant who has been an active fighter for immigrant rights. “We will expose this nasty bill and everyone behind it.”

Anti-immigrant groups frequently lament the 1982 Supreme Court decision of Plyler V. Doe, which protects the right of undocumented students to attend public education through high school. However, legislators in the segregationist South have begun to find new ways to direct their prejudice at school children. The Alabama State Senate passed a bill that would ban undocumented immigrants from attending extracurricular activities like prom and afterschool sports. NC Republicans also refused to make an exception in the Matricula Consular bill, HB 33, for educators to accept the Matricula to identify the parents of children at the school, both citizen and non-citizen.

Earlier this month, US Department of Education had to remind school districts of their obligation to provide an equal education to undocumented immigrant children. The DOE released a letter (co-signed by the Department of Justice) stating that “Recently, we have become aware of student enrollment practices that may chill or discourage the participation, or lead to the exclusion, or students based on their or their parents’ or guardians’ actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status. These practices contravene Federal law.”

Requiring children to register their immigration status with their schools will inevitably result in discrimination, harassment or exclusion. Plain and simple, the legislators who support these bills are unprincipled cowards.
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@NCDREAMTeam

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