Things That Matter

Family Members Of A Selena Tribute Artist Say That She Has Been Detained By ICE Despite Her DACA Status

In a sad turn of events this past Saturday, a vital supporter of a Latino community on the west coast of the United States has been detained by ICE.

Karol Posada, 28-year-old tribute artist of Selena Quintanilla captured the artistry and vocals sounds of the Tejano singer, carrying on her legacy by wearing her famed outfits. In an interview with VICE in 2015, Posadas said that she started signing because of Selena. ” Every Latina that was born with a Latina mom — you know, you see the movie and you get inspired. She was like an idol, the person that you always want to be when you grow up if you’re a singer,” she told the site.

According to reports, Posadas was returning from a performance tour in Texas on Nov. 2 when she was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers at the airport in Harlingen, Texas.

Posadas– who is a participant of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals– moved from Guatemala as a teen.

She was raised in the San Fernando Valley and lived there at the time of her arrest. A GoFundME page launched in an attempt to raise money for the singer’s release says that she fled from Guatemala “escape the dangers and threats of her home country.” The site also says that Posadas was detained on Saturday while attempting to return home from a tour in Texas. It is unclear as to whether own not Posadas still has DACA protection.

Thus far, the GoFundMe page created in her honor has raised over $4,000. The site does not detail what the funds are for, but they are likely to help cover her legal fees.

Posadas’s GoFundMe page says that she is currently being kept at an overcrowded ICE facility in El Valle, Texas.

On Friday, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that the GoFundMePage had alleged that she is being forced by the facility in El Valle to “to sleep on the floor, denied access to basic personal care products, and denied medical attention for her heart condition.”

The GoFundMe page for Posadas reads says that “Posadas is a Selena tribute artist, who has been helping in keeping her image, music, and likeness alive, as well as a singer in her own right. On Saturday 11/2/19 while returning from a tour in Texas,  she was detained by immigration at Harlingen airport. Karol is a DACA recipient, she is an outstanding person, with no criminal record, who was brought to this country by her family at a young age, to escape the dangers and threats of her home country Guatemala. She has been kept at an overcrowded facility in El Valle, and forced to sleep on the floor, denied access to basic personal care products, and denied medical attention for her heart condition, that jeopardizes her health and for which she needs treatment. We are running against time. Please help us cover the legal fees and expenses necessary to have her released. Please help us free Karol Posadas. We are working-class people, with no influence or money, so for society, our voices do not matter, and the human rights violations that she has been subjected to will go unheard. Help us change that!”

Fans of Posadas have been sharing the news of her detainment and using the hashtag #freekarolposadas to demand her release.

In a post to Instagram, a fan of Posadas shared the hashtag and wrote that it was “crazy how we see all this in the news you never think it will hit close to home in this case the #selenaquintanilla community I will be trying to coordinate a raffle/ sale or auction in the next 24-48 hours all proceeds to benefit to #freekarolposadas link in my bio let’s keep @karolposadasofficial in our prayers.”

Another user who goes by the name of @simepreselenass on Instagram wrote that they were “so saddened by this news, and I pray that she is at least well, since I can imagine just how unsafe those detention centers are. I don’t know her personally, but she messaged me a few times and is the most wonderful woman.”

“My heart is in pieces from this situation, especially because the people that support her including her husband are working class folks with no real influence who can only do so much to overcome these tragic circumstances. She needs our help. Please click on the link on my bio and help me free Karol. Time is ticking and especially because of her medical condition we must all come together and help this beautiful soul gain a chance at standing up for herself against the injustices of this current administration and the steps it has taken to marginalize and disenfranchise OUR people. Thank you everyone in advance,” wrote @rainbisour in a post to her Instagram page that also used the #freekarolposadas hashtag which has so far only been used 28 times.

An article by the Houston Chronicle reported that the manager of Posadas band: Roberto Cadilha, claimed that she was in fact a DACA recipient.

 According to the report, Posadas DACA documentation was in the process of renewal at the time of her arrest, but she had not yet received her physical document. Cadilha also told the Chronicle that she was holding up alright, but because of her heart condition she is currently experiencing “pain in her chest, constantly.” He also added that she had been sleeping on the floor but was eventually given a bed. 

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