‘DREAM 9’ HERO AT RISK OF DEPORTATION
On November 7, 2019, prominent immigrant rights activist, Marco Saavedra will face his final immigration hearing at Federal Plaza.
For nearly a decade, Saavedra has led the fight for immigrant rights in the United States and has been a testament to the bravery of undocumented youth engaged in direct action. Saavedra’s work with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance in 2012 first landed him in the national spotlight. Saavedra turned himself into immigration authorities in Florida in order to provide direct support to detained migrants at the Broward Transitional Center and to expose cases of medical neglect and lack of due process. (Marco’s story was portrayed in the film The Infiltrators, which premiered at Sundance this year).
After his release from detention, Saavedra began organizing with deported youth in Mexico. In 2013, he self-deported to Mexico along with 2 other Dreamers, crossing into Mexico in solidarity with those who would have benefited from DACA, but were either deported or self-deported before the executive action was announced. They joined 6 Dreamers in Mexico, becoming ‘The Dream 9,’ and used their standing as Dream Act Eligible youth to take their plight to an international level and fight for protection from their home country. Upon returning to the United States, members of the Dream 9 applied for political asylum, and many of their cases are still pending. (LatinoUSA and This American Life have featured stories on Marco and the Dream 9).
Marco is requesting asylum because advocates for human rights and migrants in Mexico face persecution, and he will be at risk if he is forced to return. The Organization of American States’ InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights published a recent report and news media documenting the targeting of advocates of migrants for their work (see La Jornada’s coverage here). In recent months, the violence has worsened. Marco has never refrained from advocating for migrant rights and has an established profile as an activist in Mexico.
In addition to Marco’s presence on the international stage, he is a revered Bronxite whose family restaurant, La Morada, has served as a space for community organizing since 2009. (La Morada has been profiled in the New York Times and The New Yorker). Yet, Marco, his family, and close friends have been targeted not only by immigration officials, but also by the police. Just last year, Marco’s sister, Yajaira Saavedra, was detained by the NYPD without cause inside La Morada. In another instance, shortly after the release of The Infiltrators, one of the people involved in the original action and a star in the film, Claudio Rojas, was deported.
Now, Marco faces his final immigration hearing, where the judge will make a decision on his case for political asylum—a plea for protection in the place where he has lived for the past 26 years and where he calls home. Join Marco in support for a pressbriefing prior to his hearing on November 7, 2019 at 8:00am outside of Federal Plaza.
For more information:
MARCO’S ADVOCACY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS WITH THE DREAM 9 and THE INFILTRATORS:
Meet the DREAM 9, Latino USA, https://www.latinousa.org/
“DREAM Activist: How I infiltrated Florida facility to expose how US still detaining youth immigrants,” Democracy Now, August 8, 2012, https://www.democracynow.org/
498: The One Thing You're Not Supposed To Do, This American Life, https://www.thisamericanlife.
“He stars in a new film about infiltrating an ICE detention center. Now ICE has locked him up again,” The Washington Post, Tim Elfrink and Isaac Stanley-Becker, March 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.
com/nation/2019/03/04/he- stars-new-film-about- infiltrating-an-ice-detention- center-now-ice-has-locked-him- up-again/
“As An Undocumented Alien First-Generation College Grad, I am a Problem,” Marco Saavedra, The New York Times, Sept 3, 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/
roomfordebate/2015/09/03/is- immigration-really-a-problem- in-the-us/as-an-undocumented- alien-first-generation- college-grad-i-am-a-problem
“It Was a Sanctuary for Immigrants in the Bronx. Then One of Its Owners Was Arrested.” Christina Goldbaum,The New York Times, January 18, 2019,
CONDITIONS IN MEXICO FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES
Criminalización de Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos en México, Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Organization of American States, https://www.oas.org/es/cidh/
Agresiones a defensores de migrantes se agudizaron tras acuerdo México-EE.UU. https://www.eldiario.es/
desalambre/Agresiones- defensores-migrantes- agudizaron-Mexico-EEUU_0_ 945606511.html
“Confirma AMLO detención de activistas pro-migrantes,” La Jornada, June 6, 2019, https://www.jornada.com.mx/
ultimas/politica/2019/06/06/ confirma-amlo-detencion-de- activistas-pro-migrantes-6817. html
MARCO AND HIS FAMILY’S CULTURAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND BUSINESS IN THE US
“Opening Oaxaca to the World,” The New York Times, Ligaya Mishan, Feb. 26,2 015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/
“La Morada: A Crucible of Resistance,” The New Yorker, Nicholas Niarchos, Sept. 22, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/
For Immediate Release
created: Monday February 4, 2019
contact: Yajaira Saavedra| 718.292.0235| firstname.lastname@example.org
Police commandeer highly acclaimed small business in the South Bronx without a warrant or probable cause
Bronx, New York, January 13, 2019-- On Friday, January 11, 2019 around 4:30 pm the NYPD arrested immigrant-activist Yajaira Saavedra. Undercover officers arrested Yajaira without issuing a warrant or stating probable cause. The Saavedra family has demanded accountability but has not received a response from the 40th precinct. Join La Morada family in an open mike press conference to demand NYPD accountability and Sancutary Safety. Press conference starts at 5:30 pm followed by an NYPD community council meeting at the Lincoln Hospital room #4. Yajaira’s arrest for working with a DACA permit in her family's business could of led to her deportation.
When: Wednesday, February 2, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM
Where: Lincoln Hospital Main Entrance
La Morada Restaurant family-owned and operated Mexican (Oaxacan) Restaurant in the South Bronx comprised of undocumented workers. La Morada has earned the Michelin Guide Bid Gourment award for three years consecutively and Best Tacos in N.Y. by Thrillist among many other awards
You can find more about La Morada online at www.LaMoradaNYC.com