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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.

MEDIA CONTACT

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: 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.

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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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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

Sign the online petition below to thank the NC House of Representatives for voting in favor of House Bill 786-the RECLAIM NC Act and to ask them to override Governors McCrory’s Veto against it.

http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/overridemcveto/

HB 786

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The North Carolina 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.

Thank you to everyone who made calls and signed the petitions of Fidela and Juan Jose. Fidela Medel Lopez’ deportation was stopped and Juan Jose Ernesto Oliva was released. Now, let’s continue doing the same thing so that Holman Acosta can be released and brought to his family, and stop Luis Zarco’s deportation.

Holman Acosta: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/holman/

Call Atlanta ICE @ (404) 893-1210
Call DC ICE @ (202) 732-3000 or (202) 732-3100

Sample Script:
“Hi, I’m calling to ask for the release of Holman Acosta (A# 098-894-580) from North Georgia Detention Center. Holman is the head of household and his US citizen wife, who suffers from depression and diabetes, needs him home to care for their 3 US citizen children. Don’t force these kids to grow up without their father. Release Holman now!”

Luis Zarco: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/luisz

Call Charlotte ICE @ (704) 248-9605
Call DC ICE @ (202) 732-3000 or (202) 732-3100


Sample Script:
“Hi, I’m calling to ask that ICE stop the deportation of Luis Zarco (A# 200-972-096). Luis is the sole bread winner for his family which includes 3 US citizen children. Luis has lived in the US for 15 years and is an outstanding member of the Charlotte community. Please keep him home!”

Juan Jose Ernesto was  was release today!

Juan Jose  with his wife Ana Ruth and two year old daughter Allison after being release today from North Georgia Detention Center.

We have 4  cases we are hoping you can help us out with,  Please take a minute to sign the petition and to make a phone call.

Resampled952013-07-019508-35-0095507Fidela Medel Lopez’ (A# 200-970-777) order for Voluntary Departure. She has been living in the US for over 14 years. Fidela is a single mother of 5 children, one of whom suffers from severe autism and a speech impediment.

http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/fidela

Call Charlotte ICE @ (704) 248-9605
Call DC ICE @ 202-732-3000 or 202-732-3100

2013062395221408_300x400Juan Jose Ernesto Oliva (A# 205-215-502) currently detained at York County Detention Center in South Carolina. Juan Jose has a wife and a U.S. citizen daughter who need him. Seeking refuge and protection, Juan Jose came to the United States. He has lived in North Carolina for almost 10 years and has built a life here. Returning to El Salvador is not an option for Juan Jose as it would mean separation from his family and even death.

http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/juanjose

Call York County Detention Center @ (803) 628-2924
Call DC ICE @ 202-732-3000 or 202-732-3100

holmanacosta_400x320Holman Acosta (A# 098-894-580) from North Georgia Detention Center and urge you to stop his deportation. In the early afternoon of June 30th, 2013, Holman was stopped at a check point while driving his stepson home from a soccer game. He was arrested when he was found driving without a license. Holman was turned over to ICE officials on August 2, 2013 and transferred to North Georgia Detention Center where he faces imminent deportation. Holman has no criminal record. is the head of household and his US citizen wife, who suffers from depression and diabetes, needs him home to care for their 3 US citizen children. Don’t force these kids to grow up without their father. Release Holman now!”
http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/holman/

Call Atlanta ICE @ (404) 893-1210
Call DC ICE @ (202) 732-3000 or (202) 732-3100

Zarcos_400x287Jose Luis Zarco’s (A# 200 972 096) deportation be stopped immediately and his request for prosecutorial discretion granted. Luis is the sole bread winner for his family which includes 3 US citizen children. Luis has lived in the US for 15 years and is an outstanding member of the Charlotte community. Please keep him home!

http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/luisz

Call Charlotte ICE @ (704) 248-9605
Call DC ICE @ (202) 732-3000 or (202) 732-3100

 SIGN THE PETITION BELOW:

http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/fidela/

Call Charlotte ICE @ (704) 248-9605

Call DC ICE @ 202-732-3000 or 202-732-3100

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask ICE to stop Fidela Medel Lopez’ (A 200-970-777) deportation. She is the mother of 5 children, two of which are US citizens and one of those, Erick, is a special needs child who suffers from severe autism. Fidela is low priority for deportation and Erick needs a stable home alongside his mother. Deporting Fidela threatens Erick’s health and puts him directly in harm’s way. Stop Fidela’s deportation now!”

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@NCDREAMTeam

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