Photo via Charlotte Observer

UNDOCUMENTED YOUTH DROP THE FEAR IN NORTH CAROLINA

PRESS CONFERENCE ALERT

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Domenic Powell (704) 281 – 9911
Jose Torres-Don (512) 659-1829

The NC DREAM Team will hold a press conference today in Charlotte

When: Thurs., Sept. 8, 2011 at 12:30pm
Where: Mecklenburg County Courthouse
832 East 4th Street, Charlotte, NC

We invite the immigrant community and the community of North Carolina to join us  today. Three of the #NC7  undocumented youth arrested at the immigrant rights rally Tuesday have been released. They will speak directly about their experiences.  Please spread the word and join us.

And please help us take action in stopping “Secure Communities” throughout our country. Sign our petition here and spread the word.

**UPDATE** See full release below.

Contact:
Domenic Powell (704) 281 – 9911
Jose Torres-Don (512) 659-1829
domenic@theniya.org

Three of ten undocumented youth released, will hold press conference today
ICE begins deportation proceedings, futures remain unclear

CHARLOTTE—Three of the ten undocumented youth arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina this Tuesday for protesting against both the discriminatory practices at public colleges in North Carolina and the devastating effects of 287g and Secure Communities have been released.

Santiago Garcia, Martin Rodriguez and Manuel Vazquez were released late last night. The other four participants, Cynthia Martinez, Marco Saavedra, Alicia Torres-Don and Angelica Velazquillo will appear in court at 1PM today. The other three undocumented activists who were arrested, Mohammad Abdollahi, Isabel Castillo and Viridiana Martinez also remain in jail.

By releasing three of the ten undocumented arrested at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, undocumented youth have proven that they can stand up to an administration eager to deport them.

“We stood up for what we believe in,” said Manuel Vazquez. “But more importantly, we stood up for ourselves and our communities.”

The action marked exactly one year before the Democratic National Convention. Until this point, Democrats have been the assumed allies of immigrants, in the face of Republican governors supporting anti-immigrant laws like Arizona’s SB1070. However, anti-immigrant policies such as 287(g) and Secure Communities have flourished under this Democratic president. Undocumented youth should not be expected to support a president who has deported more people than President Eisenhower during Operation Wetback.

Garcia was issued an Alien Number and issued paperwork stating that he was going to be transferred to Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. Several other participants were issued Alien Numbers or placed in immigration holds. The future of their deportation cases is unclear. However, this action shows that the Obama Administration either still actively deports undocumented youth or has absolutely no control of its local offices.

“I thought I was on my way to Georgia,” said Garcia. “I sat in jail for hours not knowing when and if I would see my family soon.

The seven participants are now calling upon undocumented youth across the country to harness the power of being public about their status and challenge this administration’s 287(g) and Secure Communities programs. A press conference will be held today at 12:30PM in front of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, where the three released participants will discuss the protest, their time in jail and their plans for the immediate future.

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WHO: Manuel Vasquez, 21, of Raleigh
Martin Rodriguez, 20, of Hamptonville
Santiago Garcia, 20, of Asheville
WHAT: Participants in the civil disobedience action at Central Piedmont Community College, three of whom have been released, call on undocumented youth to shed their fears and commit t holding Democratic party leaders accountable for the injustices they perpetuate against immigrant communities.
WHERE: Mecklenburg County Courthouse; 832 East 4th Street, Charlotte, NC
WHEN: Thurs. September 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm.

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