things that matter

The Littlest Victims Of Our Broken Immigration System Are Asking For Your Help

Credit: FirstFocusOnKids / YouTube

“I wish I won’t have to be afraid anymore.”

Our immigration system is tearing families apart. Children born into families with mixed immigration status are losing parents. One organization, First Focus, is putting a face to these child victims with a campaign that lets real kids afraid of losing a parent to deportation tell their own story. Gabe Vasquez, Senior Director of Media Relations for the organization, says he hopes that people start to learn and understand the real price of deportation on the children.

“We know that many Latinos get this. We know that many Democrats get this,” Vasquez told mitú. “We’re trying to convince Republican and Independent voters that comprehensive immigration reform is needed now, and that the lives of many hard-working children and their families – their neighbors – depend on it.”


Not only are children seeing their parents get detained, some are also losing all contact after they are deported.

Picture 1
Courtesy of This Is My American Story

“Charlie’s [pictured above] father was deported more than two years ago,” Vazquez said. “When Charlie’s father was detained by ICE, his family held prayer vigils, wrote letters to the president and turned in petitions to ICE asking for the government to let his father stay. His father was later deported.”


Some of the kids who are still with their parents are living a legal nightmare that could result in an eventual deportation.

Picture 2
Courtesy of This Is My American Story

“Roberto’s [pictured above] mother Jeanette has been granted a temporary stay in the United States several times after being detained by immigration authorities for driving without a license,” Vasquez said of the 12-year-old’s situation. “Roberto fears that his mother could be deported at any moment.”

Regardless of where you stand on immigration, you’d have to have a heart not to feel some compassion for these kids.


READ: Gina Rodriguez Has Something to Say About Immigration Detention Centers

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UCLA Students Snapchat During School Lockdown

things that matter

UCLA Students Snapchat During School Lockdown

Credit: Bernardette Pinetta / Snapchat / @brittny_mejia / Twitter

On Wednesday, June 1st, a murder-suicide took place at the UCLA campus. While news of the crime was still developing, students had little details as to what exactly was happening. This lead many to assume the worst and enter a state of panic as they faced something no one is ever prepared for. These UCLA students documented what it was like for them to live during this tragedy.

Bernardette Pinetta, 21, had no idea what was happening outside her dorm until she received a Bruin Alert.

The Bruin Alert is a system only available to UCLA students. UCLA’s Twitter accounts also kept students updated with information on the lockdown status.


Martin Quiroz, 21, was much closer to the crime scene.

Students who were on their way to campus, like Martin, were immediately turned away and directed to a safe area.


Artemis Chavez, 20, was headed to work near the engineering building. She didn’t think anything abnormal was happening until she started receiving orders from police.

She explains what scared her most was when cops started yelling “get down, get down!”


She was immediately taken to a safer space.

Students had to make sure no one got through the doors.


Students naturally couldn’t help but imagine the worst.

In May 2015, a shooting near the UC Santa Barbara campus occurred where four people, including two students, were injured.


Like “what if they come to the dorms?”

Bernardette is a resident advisor for her dorm. Her biggest concern was making sure all her residents were safe. She reached out through various platforms like Facebook and texts.


Martin, who is also an RA, started messaging friends to let them know this was a serious threat, and they needed to take precautions.

He made it a point to tell friends and tenants there was an “active shooter.”


On the other hand, Bernardette made sure she talked to her mom to keep her from freaking out.

Out-of-state relatives were more worried than her parents, who live in LA, because they weren’t receiving immediate updates.


Because after watching the news, UCLA moms and family members had a million questions.

“The first thing [my mom] told me was how close are you to this Boelter thing?”


Others chose not to reach out to parents…

To keep them from worrying in case they hadn’t heard the news.


Fear really started setting in when they realized their doors don’t lock.

“Oh my goodness, we’re in a room that can’t be locked.”


Most doors in classrooms don’t lock and they open out, so they can easily be opened from the outside.

Students started improvising to keep any intruders out.


Students started piling desks against the wall and tying the handles with belts to try to prevent doors from opening.

Martin also told us people were tying belts around doorhandles to keep doors shut.


Fortunately, Bernardette, Martin and Artemis are safe.

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UCLA will hold a vigil to commemorate the victims of this shooting.


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