immigrant activist who infiltrated detention center is released after identifying people who should be free

by Tim Phillips

On July 20, Viridiana Martinez successfully infiltrated Broward Transitional Center, a detention facility in Florida, to identify people who should be released according to President Obama’s immigration policies. Martinez, who entered the U.S. at age 15, is among 7 undocumented National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) organizers who intentionally put themselves in deportation proceedings to infiltrate the Broward facility. Despite their wish to remain in custody until all low-priority detainees are freed, Martinez was apparently released on Friday.

NIYA found that undocumented youth who come into contact with the legal system are no safer now than they were before Obama’s new policy, though that policy did not require full implementation until August 15. NIYA also identified more than 100 people who should be released for a variety of reasons. Although Martinez was recently expelled, NIYA renewed its challenge to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and GEO Group, Inc., which owns the facility:

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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