by Viridiana M.

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As I am typing up this post, I am on week 5 of my recovery from a broken foot. On March 3rd, I was in a car accident.. actually, let me rephrase that, I was hit by a white guy as I was on the middle turning lane on Six Forks Rd in Raleigh. I was going to make a left turn. I am making a point to highlight that the person who hit me was a white male because it played a pivotal role in how the Raleigh PD officer treated me and, consequently, every other party involved in the aftermath.

My insurance, Geico, has been completely useless in my case (the least they can do is proceed impartially and determine the white man who hit me responsible instead of partial responsibility based on the crash report).

Root cause of this continuing dilemma: the crash report.

The police officer responsible for writing up the crash report was biased, not to mention his behavior towards me at the site of the crash was rude and unprofessional. In the crash report, Officer D.A. Morgan states: “As a result of Vehicle 2 (me) improperly traveling in a turn lane prior to the intersection of Loft Lane, Vehicles 1 and 2 collided.” Never in this report does he even hint that the white guy who hit me was even partially at fault. When he gave me a citation for driving with a suspended license and told me I was responsible for the crash, I asked why. He responded that I should “choose my battles” because I wasn’t supposed to be driving with a suspended license in the first place. Pardon, officer? Oh wait, my name is Viridiana Martinez. Obviously hispanic. And Officer Morgan obviously felt he could get away with favoring the white guy who hit me. His lack of professionalism and tact call for some kind of punishment. But will he be punished or reprimanded in some way? When I complain against Officer Morgan, who will make sure he thinks twice before his vision becomes blurry and he favors another white man over a hispanic woman in another crash?

This experience is a reminder of the inequality, discrimination, racism, indifference, and hate we as illegals face. The truth is as an illegal immigrant woman, ALL ODDS are against me. And Officer Morgan is counting on that. He is counting on my silence. He is counting on me not knowing better! He is counting on my fear. And he is counting on the rest of the system and his colleagues treating me with that same indifference too.

Too bad for me, this car wreck happened at such an inopportune time. I was preparing to head to Texas to gather evidence for my claim to citizenship. That’s another cup of tea for another post. Soon.

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In the meantime, I have 3 more weeks of recovery before I can walk again. Hopefully. But for the past month and for the remainder of my recovery, I cannot work. If you find it in your heart to make a donation to help me cover medical bills and other expenses, I will be forever grateful. Here is the link: http://www.gofundme.com/viridiana.

For next steps, I plan on filing a complaint against Geico with the NC Department of Insurance as well as filing a grievance against Officer Morgan. A change to the statement on the crash report holds the key to making things better for me. I’m not asking for Geico’s money or for the crash report to say what is not the truth. I ask for what is just. It is clear that when all is said and done, there are no protections for someone like me. There is no support whatsoever from the state. As their customer, Geico should have my back. And the fact that my driver’s license is suspended does not make me at fault for getting collided into. Also, had I the opportunity to renew my license when it expired in 2011, it would not be suspended. But due to my immigration status, I am unable to renew my driver license.

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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: http://action.dreamactivist.org/bringthemhome/northcarolina/felipe/

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***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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Erick Lopez

erickbiggest@gmail.com

336-516-8275

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.jpg

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: http://action.dreamactivist.org/bringthemhome/northcarolina/emanuel

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Viridiana Martinez

viridiana@thencdreamteam.org

C: (919) 704-0599

Raleigh, NC – The Department of Public Safety released an immigration study this past Friday, March 7th. The study concludes:

- Issuing driver permits to undocumented immigrants will make North Carolina roads safer

- North Carolina’s economy is highly dependent on immigrant labor and consumer power

- Punitive measures against undocumented immigrants will lead to labor shortages, as happened in Georgia, which could harm North Carolina’s economic recovery.

The North Carolina Dream Team believes immigrants play a vital role in this state’s growing economy. We believe we can learn from the mistakes of those states’ which enacted anti-immigrant laws in 2011. We are smarter. We are better.

Alternatively, implementing enforcement measures will require additional tax dollars at a time when the state is looking to prioritize spending elsewhere.

This study acknowledges the contributions of undocumented immigrant families to this state’s growing economy. We can lead the country in becoming a thriving state that welcomes immigrants.

We encourage legislators to take action in the upcoming short session by passing the RECLAIM NC Act and allow immigrants the opportunity to legally drive, again. Driving permits for the hardworking undocumented families of North Carolina are long overdue.

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The North Carolina Dream Team is the first undocumented youth led organization in North Carolina.

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: https://www.facebook.com/events/1555478414676700/

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NC DPS: Study Regarding Immigration Measures

“Several industries in North Carolina reported a dependence on immigrant labor..” 

by Viridiana B. Martinez

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Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters:
The past 5 years have been a learning experience. From helping start the first undocumented youth led organization in North Carolina, to coming out of the shadows as undocumented and unafraid, to participating in civil disobedience and stopping deportations. I’ve even gone as far as turning myself in to immigration authorities, placing me in deportation proceedings. It’s been this struggle that has allowed me to put together the pieces of the puzzle: Although I have lived as an undocumented immigrant for the past 20 years, I have discovered that I am actually a U.S. citizen. This is why today, I am reaching out to you in hopes that you can help me gather the evidence I need to claim my citizenship.
Make a donation here: http://www.gofundme.com/viridiana
My claim to citizenship starts with my grandfather who was born in the United States. I need to travel to his place of birth in Texas to gather evidence of his time spent there. Once I have gathered all the evidence required, I will be submitting form N-600 to claim my citizenship. The fee for this submission to USCIS is $600. Your contributions will go towards this fee and travel expenses to get to Texas and back to North Carolina for my third immigration court hearing in Charlotte on April 15, 2014.
If you’d like more information, you can call me at (919) 704-0599 or email me at ispeakingles@gmail.com.
Thank you for your support today and always!
Sincerely,
Viridiana

Valentine's Karaoke Night THIS FRIDAY !!!

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Contact: Viridiana Martinez

Cell: (919) 704-0599

 

Father of Eastway and Northern students scheduled for deportation on Tuesday night

Supporters will meet at 7pm at El Centro Hispano in Durham, NC

Durham, NC – On January 27th, 2014, supporters and community members will gather to urge Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop the deportation of Hugo Leonel Perez Ramirez (A# 077-665-965) who is set to be deported this Tuesday night, January 28th. If deported, Hugo Leonel will be separated from his wife, who is recovering from arm surgery and has diabetes, and youngest son, Rhodinson, who is a U.S. citizen.

On December 23, 2013 in the morning, ICE raided the home of Hugo Leonel and his family at 5am while they were sleeping. Without a knock at the door, ICE entered Hugo Leonel’s home, walked up the stairs, handcuffed and dragged him out. Hugo’s older sons cried and pleaded for ICE agents to take them instead of their father, but their cries were ignored. Their father was ripped away from them and their family was torn apart that morning. Hugo Leonel is, currently, being held in Stewart Detention Center and faces imminent deportation.

Hugo Leonel came to North Carolina from Guatemala in 2006 in search of a better life. His first attempt to reunite with his family was in 2000 but he was caught at the border and deported. According to the 2011 Morton Memo, he is a low-priority case and based on Acting ICE Director John Sandweg’s recent memo, Hugo Leonel’s deportation should be stopped immediately as he is the only breadwinner for his children and wife, Edilma.

WHEN: Monday, January 27, 2014

TIME: 7pm

WHERE: El Centro Hispano, 600 E Main St, Durham, NC

WHO: NC Dream Team and El Centro Hispano

For more information, visit the online petition at: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/hugo

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The North Carolina Dream Team is the first independent undocumented youth-led organization in the Carolinas.

 

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