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UndocuQueer Activist Changing the Immigration Debate

Undocumented queer youth are shaking up the immigration reform debate, at times even putting their own freedom in danger. Here are 9 UndocuQueer voices you should know.

Jonathan Perez

UndocuQueer
Credit: Jonathan Perez / Facebook

Jonathan Perez catapulted into life as an UndocuQueer activist following a brush with the law in south Louisiana. Perez, who had no record, has since spent time as co-founder and project manager for the Immigrant Youth Coalition, fighting against flawed legislation aimed to capture and detain undocumented people without criminal priors.

Yahaira Carrillo

UndocuQueer
Photo Credit: Yahaira Carillo / Facebook

Yahaira Carrillo became a face of the UndocuQueer Movement when she was one of four arrested for protesting in Senator John McCain’s office in 2010. Carrillo avoided deportation following charges of felony trespassing and has been fighting for comprehensive immigration reform by campaigning and mobilizing youths to back the DREAM Act.

Favianna Rodriguez

Repost @mechadestanford
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RAZA DAY TEASER: #5 FEATURED GUEST: FAVIANNA RODRIGUEZ Favianna Rodriguez is a transnational interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer. Her art and collaborative projects deal with migration, global politics, economic injustice, patriarchy, and interdependence. Rodriguez lectures globally on the power of art, cultural organizing and technology to inspire social change, and leads art workshops at schools around the country. Favianna’s mission is to create profound and lasting social change in the world. Through her bold and provocative art, she has already touched the hearts and minds of millions. In addition to her fine arts and community work, Rodriguez partners with social movement groups around the world to create art that’s visionary, inspirational, radical and, most importantly, transformational. When Favianna is not making art, she is directing CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, writers and performers in migrant rights. Favianna will hosting 2 art workshops at Raza Day! You do not want to miss this opportunity! Sign up for Raza Day now! Share with your friends and family so they too can learn and be inspired by her work!

A photo posted by Favianna Rodriguez (@favianna1) on

Julio Salgado

UndocuQueer
Photo Credit: Julio Salgado / Facebook

Julio Salgado is co-founder and art director for Dreamers Adrift, a program created by and for undocumented youths. Salgado is the creator of the UndocuQueer posters used nationally by various undocumented youth programs. Salgado’s art is inspired by experiences of undocumented queer youths fighting a two-front war for LGBTQ-inclusive immigration reform.

Jose Antonio Vargas

1st selfie of 2015: about to take behind-the-wheel driving test. #pleasegodnoparallelparking

A photo posted by Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) on

Prerna Lal

Day 1 as #undocuattorney #selfie. Discussing follow to join benefits w/ prospective clients over Skype.

A photo posted by Prerna Lal (@prernalal) on

Tania Unzueta

A photo posted by Tania (@ilehlainat) on

Jesus Barrios

My momma and I at Inland Empire Scholarship Fund 2012 #undocu$$

A photo posted by Jesus Barrios (@gsusbarrios) on

Alan Pelaez Lopez

UndocuQueer
Photo Credit: Ignation Solidarity Network / YouTube

Alan Pelaez-Lopez is an artist and poet who uses his words to bring light and understanding to the current climate of living in the United States as an undocumented, queer Latino. Pelaez-Lopez has worked extensively in making immigration reform more LGBTQ-inclusive. While attending college, Pelaez-Lopez was an organizer of the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project.

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

Things That Matter

Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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Honduran Woman Gave Birth On Bridge Between U.S. And Mexico Border But What Will Happen To Them Next?

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Honduran Woman Gave Birth On Bridge Between U.S. And Mexico Border But What Will Happen To Them Next?

Julio César Aguilar / Getty Images

As the number of parents and children crossing the border continues to increase, driven by violence and poverty in Central America, many are growing desperate while being forced to wait in migrant camps in Mexico. While crossings have not reached the levels seen in previous years, facilities that hold migrants are approaching capacity, which has been reduced because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is forcing many to check the status of their claims by crossing into the U.S. to speak to border agents. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more and more women are being forced to give birth in less than ideal situations – putting at risk both the lives of the mother and child.

A migrant woman gave birth on a bridge between U.S.-Mexico border.

According to Mexican border authorities, a Honduran woman gave birth on the Mexican side of the border bridge between Matamoros, Mexico and Brownsville, Texas. The woman was apparently trying to reach the U.S. side, but felt unsteady when she got there and was helped by pedestrians on the Mexican side waiting to cross.

Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said the birth occurred Saturday afternoon on the Ignacio Zaragoza border bridge, also known as “Los Tomates.” It said authorities received an alert from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials regarding “a woman trying to enter the country improperly.”

It said the woman was taken to a hospital in Matamoros, where she was given free care. Her child will have the right to Mexican citizenship.

Hernández is hardly the first woman to give birth while hoping to cross into the U.S.

Just last month, a woman gave birth along the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. She had just crossed the river and her smugglers were yelling at her to keep moving as U.S. Border Patrol agents arrived. But she couldn’t continue, fell to the ground, and began to give birth.

The mother and her her daughter are safe and in good health. “They treated me well, thank God,” said the woman, who didn’t want her name used because she fears retribution if she’s forced to leave the country, in an interview with ABC News.

“There’s so many women in great danger,” Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, told ABC News. “They must really think before they do what they do and risk the life of their unborn child.”

Like so many other women, Hernández was waiting in Mexico under Trump’s cruel immigration policies.

Hernández was reportedly among about 800 migrants sheltering in an improvised riverside camp while awaiting U.S. hearings on their claims for asylum or visas. Other migrants are waiting in Matamoros, but have rented rooms.

Thousands of other migrants are waiting in other Mexican border cities for a chance to enter the U.S. — some for years. The Trump administration has turned away tens of thousands at legal border crossings, first citing a shortage of space and then telling people to wait for court dates under its “Remain in Mexico” policy.

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