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Meet 9 year old Nayeli (R) and 7 year old Blanca (L). They’re fighting for their family to stay together this holiday season. Their mother, Maria Juana, is set to be deported to Mexico on December 27th. This could be their last Christmas together. All they want for Christmas is for their family to stay together. Will you help them?

SIGN the petition!

Senator Hagan, stop our mom's deportation!

Senator Hagan, stop our mom’s deportation!

 Their mother, Maria Juana, came to the US in 2000. She was caught at the border when she initially tried to cross and was deported. She crossed again days later and has lived in NC ever since. Because of her initial contact with immigration, ICE is refusing to stop her deportation.

On December 22, 2010, Maria Juana was stopped by Alamance County law enforcement and charged and arrested for not having a driver’s license. This is also the county that is under investigation by the Department of Justice for the racial profiling of Latinos.

Maria Juana’s request for prosecutorial discretion has been denied by ICE and they insist on breaking up this family just because of the previous deportation .

The reality is that many in our undocumented community find themselves in this same situation. In our determination to get to the US, if we don’t make it across the border on our first attempt, we will try again and again and again. It’s not about comitting a crime over and over and becoming a repeat offender. It’s about literal survival. There is no apologizing for that. As a single mother of three US Citizen children, the only bread winner in the household and no criminal record, Maria Juana needs to stay in this country.

Blanca and Nayeli are standing up for their mother and they have a Christmas wish that Senator Hagan can make come true. Senator Hagan has the power to put an end to their nightmare and stop their mother’s deportation.

Maria Juana hugs her young family that includes her three children.

Maria Juana hugs her young family that includes her three children.

In 2010 Senator Hagan voted NO on the DREAM Act stating that she was in support of a more  comprehensive approach to immigration reform. Now is the time for the Senator to leave the talking points behind and actually support this family. With the recently released numbers of nearly 205 thousand deportations of parents of US Citizens, Senator Hagan must be accountable to Nayeli and Blanca who are only asking for help so that their mom can stay home with them. Senator Hagan needs to immediately call for an end to Maria Juana’s deportation and not let her fall through the cracks of this broken immigration system.

Please join Nayeli and Blanca in making 100 calls to Senator Hagan and ICE so that they end their mom’s deportation. Sign the petition and call Senator Hagan and ICE now. We will stand with Blanca and Nayeli, will you?

Sign the petition at!

Let us know in the comments how the calls turn out.

Senator Hagan:

Washington DC: 202-224-6342

Greensboro: 336-333-5311

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask that Senator Hagan support Maria Juana Perez Santiago (A 200-576-618) and stop her deportation set for December 27, 2012. Maria Juana is the sole bread winner for her family that includes three US Citizen children. In 2010, Senator Hagan killed the DREAM Act because she wanted Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We are holding the Senator accountable to that. The Senator has a responsibility to keep this family together. Maria Juana is a low-priority case and her deportation should be stopped immediately.
Call ICE - John Morton @ 202-732-3000 or 202-732-3100

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask that ICE stop Maria Juana Perez Santiago’s (A 200-576-618) deportation. She is the mother of three US citizen children and a previous deportation order should not split this family apart. She is a low priority for deportation. Her children need her to stay here to be able to provide for them. Deporting Maria Juana threatens the future of her US born children.


Thanks for your support!

On July 30, Lorena walked into the Alamance County Time Warner Cable office to apply for cable service. The representative who assisted her asked her to complete some paperwork and to present a form of identification. The representative went to her office for several minutes telling Lorena she was making copies of the paperwork. Finally, the representative came out and returned the I.D. and asked Lorena to pay for the deposit and first month of services. As soon as Lorena paid, a police officer came from the back room and arrested her. She was taken to Alamance County Jail and was then transferred to ICE custody and placed in deportation proceedings. She is scheduled to appear in court on December 13 and could be given a final order of deportation.

Is it Time Warner Cable’s policy to work with Alamance County law enforcement to entrap undocumented people so they can be arrested and deported? Recent findings by the Department of Justice show that Sheriff Terry Johnson and his department have engaged in egregious discriminatory practices against Latinos living in Alamance County. Why is Lorena facing deportation and separation from her 7 year old daughter when all she wanted was cable service?

Tell Time Warner Cable’s President Jack Stanley to stop collaborating with Alamance County law enforcement and stop targeting immigrants who want cable service @ 336-665-0160 or sent him an email:

Lorena came to the United States in 2004 and has been living in North Carolina for the past 8 years. She is a single mother of a 7 year old U.S. citizen child. If Lorena is deported, her daughter will be separated from the only person who provides her with emotional and financial support. Most importantly, her daughter will be left without a mother to care for her.

According to the Morton Memo, Lorena is a low-priority case and should be granted favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Lorena has been living in the U.S. for 8 years, has a 7 year old U.S. citizen daughter. Lorena only went to the Time Warner Cable’s store to get cable service for her family. Instead, a police officer came out from the office and arrested her. Why is this company working with the police to target undocumented immigrants? Lorena needs to stay in the U.S. to continue to provide for her daughter.

Help Lorena by calling ICE director John Morton at 202-732-300 and signing her petition online:

Lorena YANEZ-MATA & daughter


Baltazar Sanchez Acosta

Baltazar Sanchez Acosta
A#: 225-213-693
Detained since May 2012

Baltazar is a DREAMer who was being held at Stewart Detention Center despite being DACA eligible. So much for Obama keeping his promises. But with your help we were able to do it. Baltazar was released from Stewart on Tuesday afternoon, after 7 months! Thank you to everyone who signed the petition, made the calls, and supported him in every way possible. This proves the power we have as a community! We will keep you updated on his case. Thanks again for taking action!


Baltazar sends this note:

“Les quiero dar las gracias a todas las personas que me ayudaron de todo corazón muchas  gracias. Especialmente a Cinthia Marroquín por todo su apoyo durante el proceso. Les estaré muy agradecido por siempre sin su ayuda todo prácticamente hubiera sido mucho mas difícil! MUCHAS GRACIAS de parte de mi y mi familia.”

I would like to thank every single person from the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone that supported me. Especially to Cinthia Marroquin for all the support she gave us during the whole process. I will be forever grateful, because without y’alls help it could have been even more difficult. THANK YOU VERY MUCH on behalf of my self and my family.”

Baltazar was released from Stewart Detention Center in Georgia, the same state where several other families are being held.  Take Miguel’s case for example, Miguel was on his way to work when he was stopped by the police. He was pulled over for expired tags and when asked for ID provided his expired NC driver license. The officer proceeded to ask Miguel for a valid ID, saying that the expired license was not enough. So Miguel showed him his passport. The officer proceeded to arrest him and charged him with driving with an expired license and fraudulent ID? Yes, that is a question mark. Miguel has since then been transferred to North Georgia Detention Center where he has been held for nearly a month. According to John Morton’s memo from June 2011 this case is just as low-priority as Baltazar’s and Miguel should be released immediately.

Another Low Priority Deportation: 1 Year Old
Grandson Needs Miguel Home!

We are working really hard to bring attention to more low priority cases and hope you’ll help us by getting the word out. So make sure to SIGN and SHARE the petition to release Miguel! Make sure to call ICE to tell them to release him immediately. Let’s get him released!

Javier Santos with his wife, Leticia, and two children. He missed the birth of his third child because he still sits in a detention center. Javier con su esposa, Leticias, y sus dos hijos. El perdio el nacimiento de su tercera hija porque todavia esta en un centro de detencion.

by Victoria Bouloubasis
(Read below for Spanish/ En español abajo)

Regardless of the issues at stake, our nation’s political debate seems to be fueled by bloated jargon and calculated strategy. Among them, the “family unit” has become a political label, a contrived moral badge and, at times, a shield, used by conservatives, liberals and all that fall in between.

So why is this nation still tearing families apart?

As we’ve detailed in an earlier post, Javier Santos entered the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte, NC, after being stopped for a broken tail light—and consequently arrested—while driving home from work on Sept. 6. That same day, ten undocumented youth were arrested for participating in a sit-in. Members of the NC DREAM Team met Javier in jail. Overnight, the team was released. Javier was transferred to an Atlanta detention center, where he sits awaiting deportation. (Click here to sign the petition to bring him back.)

Javier and his wife Leticia. She is waiting for him at home, sick, due to complications with the pregnancy. Javier y su esposa Leticia. Ella le espera a casa, enferma, por complicaciones con el nacimiento de su tercer hijo.

Javier left behind a pregnant wife and two children, ages 8 and 11. His wife, Leticia, gave birth to their third child, a premature baby girl. She had many complications during the birth that doctors have attributed to stress and a surprise onset of diabetes. The family of four lost their sole provider in Javier and have since moved from their home to a new apartment because, according to Javier’s sister, Griselda, they couldn’t afford to make rent payments with Javier in detention.

“So many of us don’t have a driver’s license,” Griselda said. “If we don’t drive, we can’t work and feed our family. If you can’t work, you have no place to live, nothing to eat.”

She spoke of her sister-in-law—-a woman who is literally sick and tired, a mother worried about her children and a wife missing her husband and trying to maintain hope of his return home.

“It’s not the same, living without your partner. She needs him. The kids need him.”

Griselda worries about her niece and nephew. When Leticia doesn’t have the strength to talk about their father, Griselda steps in. “My own kids had someone come speak to them at school about the effects of an absent parent. It made me think of my niece and nephew,” she explained. “[My nephew] was happy before. From what I’ve seen now, he’s a bit more rude. If something bothers him, he pushes or hits his cousin. And my niece was never like that, but now she is always bothered about something.”

“Leticia says ‘there are days when I feel so alone,’” Griselda continued. “She sees them crying and asking for their father. They are deporting so many people that are fathers of families and that don’t have any criminal backgrounds.”

According to recent ICE statistics provided by an article in the Winston-Salem Journal, “Nearly half of the immigrants processed by an immigration court in the United States were not convicted of criminal offenses […] for federal fiscal year 2011, which started Oct. 1”

With a brave voice, she tells me she plans to address this issue at the source, in person. Griselda will attempt to speak with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at Duke University this Thursday on behalf of her brother and his family.

Will you be there to support her?

“So many families are being separated. Those who suffer are the children.”

Please join us as we support Griselda on Thursday. Please, please sign the petition to stop Javier’s deportation and the separation of his family. Urge your friends to do the same. And, like Griselda, confront DHS. Make the call to keep the de los Santos family together.

A pesar de los problemas que están en juego, el debate político de nuestra nación parece ser estimulado por estrategias tan calculadas. Entre estas cosas, “la familia” se ha convertido en una etiqueta política, en una insignia artificial de la moralidad y, a veces, en un escudo usado por los conservadores, los liberales y todos aquellos que se encuentran en medio.

Entonces, ¿Por qué esta nación sigue separando a familias?

Como hemos detallado antes, Javier Santos entró a la cárcel del condado de Mecklenburg en Charlotte, NC, después de haber sido parado por tener una luz trasera de su auto rota el 6 de septiembre en camino a casa y, por consequencia, fue arrestado. Este mismo día diez jóvenes indocumentados fueron arrestados por participar en una desobediencia civil.

Miembros arrestados del NC DREAM Team conocieron a Javier en la cárcel. Durante la noche, los miembros del equipo fueron liberados ya que su acción fue un acto publico televisado por las noticias locales y nacionales. Sin embargo y a la misma vez, Javier fue traslado a un centro de detención en Atlanta, donde ahora espera su deportación. Haz clic aquí para firmar la petición para que Javier regrese a casa.

Al estar detenido, Javier dejo a su esposa embarazada y sus dos hijos de 8 y 11 anos de edad. Su esposa Leticia dio a luz a su hija prematuramente. Ella tuvo muchos problemas durante el nacimiento cuales los médicos han atribuido al estrés. También, ahora hay en Leticia un comienzo de diabetes. Sin Javier, esta familia de cuatro perdieron el apoyo financiero del que dependían y se han tenido que mudar a un apartamento nuevo porque, según Griselda, la hermana de Javier, ellos ya no pudieron pagar la renta que tenían.

“Varios de nosotros ya no tenemos licencia. Si no manejamos, no podemos trabajar y darles comida a la familia,” dijo Griselda.
Ella habló de su cuñada Leticia, una mujer que está literalmente enferma y cansada, una madre preocupada por sus hijos y una esposa que extraña a su esposo y que trata de mantener fe que el regresará.

“No es lo mismo sin su pareja. Lo necesita, lo necesitan los niños,” dijo Griselda. Griselda se preocupa mucho por sus sobrinos. Cuando Leticia no tiene la fuerza de hablarle a sus hijos sobre su papa, Griselda le ayuda.

“Mis hijos tuvieron a alguien en la escuela hablando de cómo afecta la ausencia de una mama o un papa,” contó Griselda. “Me empiezo acordar de mis sobrinos. Antes mi sobrino era alegre, pero como que he visto que se porta un poco más grosero. Si algo le molesta, lo empuja o le pega a su primo. También, mi sobrinita antes no era así, ahora ella siempre se muestra molesta por algo.”

“Leticia me dice “hay días en que me siento sola en este momento,’” Griselda siguió. “ Los ve llorando y preguntan por su papa. Están deportando a muchas personas que son padres de familia y no tienes incidentes criminales.”

Según un reporte sobre inmigración (ICE) en el Winston-Salem Journal, “Casi la mitad de inmigrantes procesados por una corte de inmigración en los Estados Unidos no fueron declarado culpables de ofensas criminales […] en el ano fiscal del 2011, que empezó Oct. 1”

Con una voz valiente, Griselda me dice que planea enfrentar este problema en directo y en persona. Griselda tratará de hablar con la Secretaria del Departamento de Seguridad Interna (DHS), Janet Napolitano, en la Universidad de Duke este jueves en Durham. Griselda hace esto por parte de su hermano y su familia.

Estarás allí para darle tu apoyo?

“Pues muchas familias las están separando. Los que están sufriendo son los niños.” Por favor vengan con nosotros para apoyar a Griselda este jueves. Por favor, firme la petición para parar la deportación de Javier y la separación de su familia. Pidan a sus amig@s y familia que hagan lo mismo y, al igual que Griselda, se enfrenten a DHS sin miedo. ¡Llama hoy para reunir a la familia Santos!

Over the next few days, expect to see more posts about a Charlotte-area man fighting his deportation. Despite official claims that ‘low priority’ undocumented folks would not be caught up in the deportation dragnet, Javier Santos is still having to face all of this- over a broken license plate light. For those of you who haven’t already seen this:

Please, take a moment from your day- seriously, a couple of minutes at most- to sign Javier’s petition and make a phone call to help reunite Javier with his wife and two three children.  Sadly, because of his continuing detention, ICE wouldn’t let Javier be there for the birth of their third child.

Each day matters- keep making calls and watch this space for more ways to help Javier.

Rodrigo, a bright 16 year old, will have to check in with ICE with a one way ticket back to Mexico in hand this Tuesday, October 4th. Join us at 10:00 a.m. this Tuesday in Charlotte as we hold a press conferernce and gather in support of Rodrigo and his family!

Rodrigo was brought to the United States when he was only 10 years old. Originally from Mexico, for the past 6 years he has made Charlotte, North Carolina his home. Now 16 years old, Rodrigo finds himself fighting his deportation to a country he no longer calls his home.

Earlier this year, Rodrigo was accused of shoplifting at his local mall. Since North Carolina is one of only two states that prosecute 16 and 17 year-olds as adults, Rodrigo, despite being 16, was processed through the 287-g program. Since that day the criminal charges have been dropped, yet Immigration and Customs Enforcement still wants to deport him to a country that is no longer his home.

Your help is needed immediately!
4 Ways to Take Action:

1. Join Rodrigo this Tuesday, October 4th as he checks in with ICE. We will be holding a press conference and need the community to show their support. 10:00 a.m. at 6180 Tyvola Center Dr. in Charlotte.

2. Call DHS - Janet Napolitano (202-282-8495) and ICE - John Morton (202-732-3000)

Sample Script: “Hi, I am calling to ask that DREAM-Eligible student Rodrigo Cruz (A# 200-971-037) be allowed to stay in the U.S. Rodrigo has been living in the U.S. for over 6 years. Now 16, he is a sophomore at his high school in Charlotte, North Carolina and dreams of going to college to study International Relations. Don’t deport Rodrigo Cruz.”

3. Sign the petition and ask all of your friends to sign it!

4. Text “Rodrigo” to 919-924-0946 to sign up for action alerts to save Rodrigo.

By Alicia Torres-Don

In April it was in Georgia. This month, in California. The fear of being undocumented is being dropped across the nation. We as undocumented youth are coming out of the shadows as UNDOCUMENTED, UNAFRAID, UNASHAMED. We are doing this not because we enjoy the thrill of putting our lives on the line every time we come out, but because we, as the directly affected, are living the urgency of the situation on a daily basis.

We have no option to “opt out,” we are undocumented and we live our lives as undocumented. We have to face secure communities, the 287(g) program, and checkpoints on a daily basis. We have to leave our homes every morning with the image of our parents praying with all their might that we may return. We have to face and endure the constant injustices that are being committed against us, our families and our communities. It is because we see, we live, but more importantly, because we recognize that this is not right and that we have the obligation to challenge such injustices that we dare come out as UNDOCUMENTED, UNAFRAID, UNASHAMED.

We live in a time where an epidemic of anti-immigrant sentiment and injustices sweep our nation and it is our obligation to expose such injustices and to challenge these wrongs. We the undocumented have to own our status, our stories, our voice, our power. We are a collective to be reckoned with. To all the undocumented youth in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and all those states where the light seems very dim, I tell you that the power to change and challenge starts with you. Own your status, reach out, organize and challenge.

Like many of us, Erick Velazquillo was at one point living in the shadows, knowing that he was not the only one but feeling like he was-until he was put in circumstances that shook him, made him own his status, and forced him to organize. He is now fighting his deportation through his own means and the collective of undocumented youth that stand behind him. Let’s DROP the FEAR and own our status, our stories, our voice, our power. We are UNDOCUMENTED, UNAFRAID, UNASHAMED, organized and determined to challenge the many injustices that we, our families, and our communities are living. I invite you to DROP the FEAR and take a stand. Here’s how: make a simple video with your story and post it up on your Facebook and send it to us to post on our blog. The time is now.

Despite claims to the contrary, undocumented youth are still being deported. One of them is Elier Lara, an outstanding young man at the University of Cincinatti, who was picked up by ICE while accompanying his classmates on a school trip.

Sign the petition here.

From DREAMActivist:

Last year, Elier was on a trip to New York with other students from his high school to compete at Nationals for Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE). After placing in the highly competitive field, garnering Honorable Mention and receiving the competition’s Innovation Award, Elier was singled out at the airport before his team boarded to fly back to Cincinnati. He had brought with him the only form of identification he owned—a school ID.

In front of his teammates and coach, he was arrested and forced into deportation proceedings. He is currently waiting anxiously for his court date to appear before the judge who will decide the future course of his young life. He and his family fear for his life if the judge allows DHS to proceed with his case. His family is originally from an area near the US border which has been decimated by drug cartel violence. His hometown recently experienced a civilian massacre and subsequent car bombings. Elier’s bright future literally hangs in the balance.

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  • "@RobertMillaEsq: @NCDREAMTeam congratulations! safely!" Gracias!#FWYH 9 hours ago
  • MT @JoelBrownWTVD: Out of the shadows: Maria Ruiz, one of first in Raleigh to receive NC driver's license.... 9 hours ago

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