Public Undocumented Students and Parents Released! All Others Detained

Who: Immigrant Youth Justice League, The Alabama Youth Collective and the National Immigrant Youth Alliance
Where: Alabama State Legislature, 11 South Union Street, Montgomery, Ala. 36130
What: 15 undocumented immigrants, 2 undercover, 13 public

MONTGOMERY, Ala.— Chicago organizer, worker, and parent of two youth from the Immigrant Youth Justice League, Martin Unzueta, was released yesterday along with 12 other parents and youth arrested in a protest against Alabama’s HB56 on Tuesday. Unzueta was among 15 undocumented immigrants purposefully arrested over the course of one week.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) did not take any action against the 13 who came out publicly in the action on November 15 in Montgomery, AL. Instead, ICE outright lied and claimed they were not taking action because the 13 arrested had legal status.

“I don’t believe in those who lie. I believe in the power of undocumented youth,” said Unzueta. “The success of our challenge to immigration authorities, and the solidarity shown by the organizers and the community shows that this is the right strategy for change.”

While the 13 public participants were released, another 2 undocumented immigrants were also arrested and placed in deportation proceedings. Isaac Barrera, 20, (A#200-244-383), and Jonathan Perez, 24, (A#070-945-779) both from Los Angeles, were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement last Thursday and have been transferred to a detention center in New Orleans.

The discrepancies between revealing that the “prosecutorial discretion” espoused by the Obama Administration is only being applied to public cases.

“This policy is an opportunistic ploy by the Obama Administration for the Latino vote,” said Mohammad Abdollahi, an organizer with National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA).“It is not being carried out by ICE and it doesn’t provide any protection for our communities.”

The Alabama Youth Collective (AYC), NIYA, and IYJL  are demanding that ICE release Barrera and Perez from detention. The organizers will pay the bonds for the 13 participants in the protest at the Alabama State Capitol later this afternoon. AYC, NIYA, and IYJL will continue to organize undocumented immigrants in Alabama and elsewhere to challenge ICE until the Federal government provides undocumented immigrants a path to legalization.

“This will not be the last time we challenge them,” said Abdollahi. “We will continue to hold this Administration accountable for its lies.”


1. Call DHS – Janet Napolitano (202-282-8495) and ICE – John Morton (202.732.3000)

Sample Script: ”I am calling to ask that the deportation of my friends Isaac Barrera and Jonathan Perez be immediately stopped. Isaac and Jonathan are DREAM Act eligible. President Obama has said he won’t be deporting undocumented youth and our families. Why are Isaac and Jonathan still detained and awaiting deportation to countries they no longer remember?”

2. Sign the Petition to demand ICE release Isaac and Jonathon here:


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