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For Immediate Release

June 11, 2013
Santiago Garcia- Leco
828.559.7993 |
DREAMer Francisco Hernandez Set for Deportation; Community Urges USCIS to Grant DACA
Supporters of Francisco Hernandez (A# 205-210-075) gather to urge United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to grant Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Charlotte. NC— Francisco “Paco” Hernandez, now 23, came to North Carolina from Mexico at the age of 14. He graduated from McDowell High School in 2009 and was attending McDowell Technical Community College when he was taken into immigration custody. Paco filed for Deferred Action, yet he is still being forced to see an immigration judge and could be deported any day.
When: After 1pm Immigration Court Hearing, Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Where: 5701 Executive Center Drive, Suite 400
             Charlotte, NC 28212
Who: Francisco, family, friends, and community supporters.
On May 13, 2011, Paco was wrongfully arrested. Paco and two friends were coming home from a party where Paco had been drinking. Being responsible, Paco let one of his sober friends, Luis –on leave from the military- drive. On their way home Paco’s car broke down; so all three friends got out to push it and Luis handed Paco the keys. While pushing the car, the police showed up to help the boys but instead (despite the care being completely off and immobile) arrested Paco and charged him with a DUI.
Despite his innocence, Paco was charged and sentenced to 30-months of probation. He didn’t miss a single check-in with his officer. However, at his November 28, 2012 check-in, ICE was waiting for him. Paco was detained and forced to spend nearly 2-months in immigration detention in Georgia  Paco was finally released on a $15,000 bond, allowing him to fight his case from the outside.  In June of 2013, he applied for DACA, and now we as a community supporting Paco, are asking USCIS to grant his application and help keep his family together. 

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 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.



Tuesday, May 28th, 2013



Viridiana Martinez



Father of 3 US Citizen Children Faces Deportation

The children will hold a vigil to ask for their father’s release 


Sanford, NC– Juan Joya Mejia (A#097-951-344)  lives in Sanford, North Carolina with his family but was in Pennsylvania looking for work to provide for his family. He was arrested after a neighbor called the police accusing Juan of looking suspicious when he was only playing with a bee bee gun. The police did not arrest him at first, but they came back after and asked him for his immigration status and turned him in to ICE. Juan is now at risk of deportation even though he did nothing wrong. He is currently detained at York County Prison in Pennsylvania and faces imminent deportation.

Juan has severe liver complications and onset heart problems. He needs medication that he cannot access in detention. He is the father of 3 U.S. citizen children who need him home. His wife, Maria, is at high risk for ovarian cancer, and she needs help sustaining their children.

Juan’s friends, wife and three US citizen children will be holding a vigil to ask immigration authorities for his immediate release.

WHEN:          Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

TIME:            7PM

WHERE:       St. Stephen Catholic Church - 901 N Franklin Dr.,  Sanford, NC 27330

WHO:             Organized by The NC Dream Team as part of the Secure Your Own Community (SYOC) project, where immigrant youth fight to stop the deportation of our peers and community.

Juan was born in El Salvador but came to the United States to escape violent gangs that were trying to recruit him and threatened him when he refused to join them. Juan has been living in the United States since 2003 and has no criminal record. He is a caring and hard-working father.

Juan needs to be released so he can join his family in North Carolina, receive proper medical care and provide for them. He is a low priority for deportation and meets the requirements for favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion under the 2011 Morton Memo. 


For more information about Juan, you can visit the online petition:


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 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.


Location: St. Stephen Catholic Church - 901 N Franklin Dr  Sanford, NC 27330

Time: 6 to 8 pm


On Tuesday, May 28th at 6 pm, we will be holding a vigil in St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Sanford, NC calling on Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) to release Juan Joya, a day laborer from the area.

RSVP to the facebook event here! 

Juan was on a trip to work in Pennsylvania. He was sitting on the steps of a building playing with a bee bee gun when a neighbor called the police. When they arrived, they asked Juan for ID and when he showed the only one he has from his country of El Salvador, he was detained and placed under the custody of ICE. Despite having no criminal record, living in the US for 10 years, and having 3 US citizen children, Juan is facing imminent deportation. 

Also, Juan has serious liver and heart problems which he has not been able to receive treatment for. On Tuesday, Juan’s wife and 3 US citizen children – Kegri (6), Madeline (4), Elwin (1) – will be joined by supporters, family members, and clergy to ask for the immediate release of Juan.


Location: St. Stephen Catholic Church - 901 N Franklin Dr  Sanford, NC 27330

Time: 6 to 8 pm

Last Thursday, 6 – year old Luis missed school to make a personal visit to his representative’s office. Luis and his family were on a mission to get support from Congressman George Holding to stop the deportation of his father, Jose Ortiz. 



Filled with hope that his representative would hear his plea for help, Luis walked into the office of Congressman Holding. Yet, he received everything but help. Instead of intervening in the case of his daddy, Congressman Holding’s staff ignored Luis. What is captured in the picture above is the representative’s staff talking down to Luis – a US citizen, telling him they will not help his father and he must leave before they call the cops.



Luis and his family left soon after, but Luis’s aunt Mayra (who is a DACA holder) decided to stay to wait for a response from the representative. Refusing to leave, she was arrested. Mayra believes in the power of community and she and Luis and Jose and the rest of the family are going to continue to stand up until Jose’s deportation is stopped. 

What you can do to help:

SIGN and share the petition –

CALL Congressman Holding’s office - 

Washington D.C. Office: 202-225-3032
Raleigh Office: 919-782-4400

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask that Congressman Holding support Jose Guillermo Ortiz (A# 205-213-818) and stop his deportation set for today. Jose is the sole bread winner for his family that includes three US Citizen children. GOP leaders are working towards comprehensive immigration reform in Washington DC. Rep. Holding has a responsibility to keep this family together. Will he intervene to stop Jose’s deportation today?”


Location: St Bernadette Catholic Church - 1005 Wilbon Rd, Fuquay-Varina, NC

Time: 6 to 8 pm


The driver’s license issue could not be more obvious than now. Another family is at risk of being torn apart all because North Carolina does not issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. 

His name is Jose Guillermo Ortiz. He is a father or 3 US citizen kids - Luis (6), Gloria (4), and Joselyn (3). On a morning in May when Jose was on his way to work, he had a minor traffic accident. When the officer who arrived at the scene asked him for his driver’s license and Jose could not provide it, the officer proceeded to arrest him. What should’ve been a simple traffic ticket, turned into Jose ending up under the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Jose had shown the officer his consular ID card with his picture, as it was the only form of ID he had with him. In a racist move, the officer took Jose to the Wake County jail where he knew he would be processed. 


Jose was released after a week in jail but had an immigration court date to attend. At his last hearing, Jose Guillermo was not granted favorable prosecutorial discretion like the Morton Memo instructs for immigrants like him. He was forced to take voluntary departure and now faces deportation on May 23rd, in just 8 days! 

We need your help to stop Jose’s deportation. If you can attend tonight’s vigil at 6 pm at St Bernadette Catholic Church (1005 Wilbon Rd, Fuquay-Varina, NC), please do. If you can’t make it, however, you can SIGN and SHARE his petition calling on ICE to stop his deportation immediately. No family should be torn apart because the primary breadwinner cannot obtain a driver’s license. 

Thank you for your support! 

Viridiana Martinez
(919) 704-0599
Detained After Minor Traffic Accident: ICE, Drop the Hold on Fabiana!

Durham, NC – On Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 Fabiana Palomo-Muniz (A# 096-114-526) was involved in a minor traffic accident for which she was ticketed and taken to the Wake County Detention Center. Since Wake County participates in the 287(g) program, a county contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Fabiana is now detained and facing deportation instead of being released to her community despite having no criminal record.

Fabiana came to the US 8 years ago in search of a better life. For the past 6 years she has been living in Durham, NC and has been a dedicated and respected community member at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Fabiana has been working hard to help her community and has helped guide many youth within her church to better themselves by providing mentorship as a volunteer coordinator of the Latino Youth Ministry Program.

A prayer vigil will be held in Fabiana’s church to push for her release and deportation to be halted. Family, friends, and at least 100 church members and supporters are expected to attend. Over 500 petition signatures calling on ICE to release Fabiana have been gathered.

When: Monday, April 29th, 2013 @ 6:00pm
Where: Immaculate Inception Catholic Church,  810 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC

Online Petition:
Our community thrives and depends on dedicated and values oriented people like Fabiana. She is an asset to this state and country. Fabiana should not be torn away from her family that includes her US citizen niece, 11 years old, and nephew, 6 months old, who she helps provide childcare for. Additionally, at church she develops the leadership skills of youth within the youth ministry group and provides support for the parents so that positive relationships are developed with their children. This type of volunteer work is essential for the positive development of US youth so that they are goal oriented and developed to be the leaders of tomorrow.

If deported, Fabiana’s family and church community will suffer. Fabiana is a low priority for deportation according to the Morton Memo released by DHS in 2011. Fabiana’s ICE hold should be dropped and she should be released immediately.

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.

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.

I got this in my inbox yesterday:
ICE detainee passes away at Conroe Regional Medical Center in Houston
HOUSTON — A Honduran national, who has been in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since Nov. 5, 2012, passed away Friday at Conroe Regional Medical Center (CRMC) due to lymphoma and related complications.
Pablo Ortiz-Matamoros, 25, was transferred to ICE custody from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Nov. 5.  On Jan. 29, Ortiz-Matamoros was admitted to CRMC for jaundice, lethargy and weight loss. He passed away Feb. 8 at about 1p.m. (CST).
Ortiz-Matamoros’ next of kin was by his side at the time of his passing.
Consistent with ICE protocol, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have also been informed, along with consular officials from Honduras.
Ortiz-Matamoros is the second detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2013.
# ICE #
As I read and re-read, I don’t even know what to feel anymore…sad, angry, happy that Pablo, if even in death, finally gets relief from the hell he must have been in while in immigration custody. We often hear of detained people in desperate need of medical attention and just like in Pablo’s case, “consistent with ICE protocol”, too little, too late is done. A 25 year old is gone just like that. He was my age. Most likely he had a huge responsibility over his head to ensure survival for his family. Where are they left now? Who has a real answer for them when all that can be talked about, by advocates and the Obama administration, are talking points for a superficial immigration reform. Keep your script people.    
My thoughts go out to Pablo Ortiz-Matamoros’ family and loved ones. I can’t even begin to imagine the rage they must feel. 
In memory of Pablo, I’m signing these petitions and making the following calls. Hope you can join me.
Adrian is peeing blood and is in need of urgent surgery: 
Flavio Ramos Cruz needs surgery: 
Isaias Valles Castrejon’s family needs him. 
And more! 
His children with medical needs need him now more than ever. 
Miguel Caldo:
No one deserves the pain and trauma of deportation.

Looks like our state’s new administration already started off on the wrong foot.

Nolicenses4illegalersLt. Governor Dan Forest

According to Lt. Governor Dan Forest, “a person entering the United States illegally should not be afforded the privileges reserved for US citizens”. So, there you have it. Lt. Governor Dan Forest does not support DREAMers and our communities. Shame on him!

For all media inquiries, email or call Cinthia at (919) 985-5868.


Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today that DACA holders do bear legal presence and are therefore entitled to obtain a driver license under North Carolina State law.

After public outcry and pressure from immigrant youth and our supporters, we will get our license back! We just got official notice from the office of Attorney General Roy Cooper:

“It is therefore our opinion that individuals who have been granted deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy directive are lawfully present in the United States during the period of deferment. As such, N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-7(s), which states that DMV shall issue a drivers license of limited duration to person who present valid documentation demonstrating deferment and meet all other statutory requirements, requires that such licenses be issued.”

This was problematic from the beginning as it is by North Carolina law that DACA holders can obtain a driver license. Let this be yet another example that when we stand up and fight back together, we can make clear demands to any government agency. We are our own voice! Somos nuestra propia voz! We are our own power! Nosotros tenemos el poder!

Now, we ask that this official statement from Attorney General Cooper be reflected in the NCDMV’s requirements to obtain a license immediately! 

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