For Immediate Release
Contact: Sheridan Aguirre | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.793.2267
With less than two weeks before Congress must agree on funding to keep the government open, United We Dream presents two more stories and reasons why Congress must reject Trump’s wall and defund ICE and CBP.
#1 – Eduardo Samaniego, forced to self-deport because of inhumane conditions in detention
Photo credit: Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Eduardo Samaniego is a nationally recognized immigrant rights activist from Massachusetts who entered the deportation pipeline as a result of failing to pay cab fare because he forgot his wallet. Eduardo endured over a 100 days in a South Carolina detention camp and suffered from deteriorating physical and mental health. Ultimately, Eduardo was forced to sign a deportation option known as “voluntary departure” — his only method of freedom from the conditions he faced in detention.
Eduardo Samaniego, in an excerpt from a statement written in ICE detention, said:
“For many years I have advocated for the civil rights of the most vulnerable in our country, I have experienced the shortcomings and inhumanities of our immigration system in mind, body and spirit, but I sincerely never imagined the extent of the inhumanities committed against immigrants in our prison industrial complex.
“This prison industrial complex has robbed me of my physical health, it has violently damaged my fighting spirit, and it continues to open my mind to see too many inhumanities.”
Caroline Murray, mentor to Eduardo and organizer with the Eduardo Support Network, said:
“ICE, under fire for targeting activists, has fast-tracked Eduardo’s departure. The suffering he has endured in detention has made “voluntary departure” — a form of deportation — the seemingly only route to freedom.”
IN THE NEWS:
- Daily Hampshire Gazette, 02/2019: Pioneer Valley activist Eduardo Samaniego deported to Mexico
- News 22 in Chicopee, MA, 02/2019: Local immigration rights activist forced to leave the U.S.
#2 – Dany Vargas, stalked, detained & harassed after speaking up about a raid at her home
Photo Credit: Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press
Dany Vargas is a DACA recipient who, in 2017, was stalked by ICE agents in Jackson, Miss. after speaking up at a press conference about her home being raided and her father detained. Although she was temporarily out-of-status at the time of her arrest, she had a DACA renewal pending. She was locked up in a Louisiana detention camp and her story drew attention to ICE’s targeted attacks on activists and those who speak up about their abuse. After being freed from detention, she remained under ICE supervision, constantly surveilled and harrassed by agents until she moved to Washington, D.C. for school. Dany recently gained a U-Visa.
- New York Times, 03/2017: Woman Detained After Speaking About Deportation Fears Is Released
- Washington Post, 03/2017: ICE nabs young ‘dreamer’ applicant after she speaks out at a news conference
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.