activist defense

on the intersection of activism and legal systems

Tag: national immigrant youth alliance

immigrant activist who infiltrated detention center to be released

Approximately two weeks ago, Claudia Muñoz infiltrated the Calhoun County Jail, a detention facility in Michigan. Muñoz, who entered the U.S. at age 16, is an undocumented National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) organizer. She intentionally had herself detained to expose abuses and identify people who should be released according to President Obama’s immigration policies. In her words:

I used to be afraid … but I’m not anymore. I know there’s going to be people on the outside who have my back, and who have done this before, and they have given me the power as a community to be unafraid. And I will go in there and I will find every single person that’s in my situation that’s not supposed to be there in the first place.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said late yesterday that Muñoz would be released, like Viridiana Martinez and other NIYA organizers who infiltrated the Broward Transitional Center in Florida last year. Muñoz already proved, however, that the Michigan ICE office is ignoring federal directives. For example, they’ve failed to release other detainees with low-priority cases.

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

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.