Why We Must Protect Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence

Sameera Hafiz

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Over the years this month has provided us all the opportunity to reflect and refocus on the experiences of survivors of domestic violence and untangle the issue from the tired public debate: the NFL responses, the Chris Browns, and the persistent question, “why does she stay?”

Orphaned by deportation: the crisis of American children left behind

Lauren Gambino
The Guardian

Ten-year-old Andrés Jimenez was looking forward to the end of summer. Not because he was particularly eager to return to school, but because the end of summer was meant to be the president’s deadline for taking action on immigration.

But Obama’s deadline came and went, and with it Andrés’ hopes of reuniting his family after his father was wrenched from his life three years ago.

Andrés was seven when his father, after whom he is named, was stopped for driving with an expired license plate, an event that would unravel the life his parents had worked so hard to build.

Protesters demand closure of Karnes residential facility

Maria Luisa Cesar
San Antonio Express-News

We Belong Together was proud to support the rallies to end family detention organized by Grassroots Leadership in Karnes and Houston Texas on October 11th, 2014.

Read the full report from the San Antonio Express-News below:

KARNES CITY -- A caravan full of protesters used songs, posters and theatrical demonstrations Saturday outside the Karnes County Residential Center to denounce the use of for-profit facilities to detain immigrants seeking asylum.

We Belong Together Outraged by Allegations of Sexual Abuse and Harsh Conditions at Family Detention Facility

October 7, 2014


Washington, DC – We Belong Together continues our urgent call to end the immigration detention of women and children, particularly in light of recent reports of sexual abuse by guards and staff at the Karnes County Residential Center. Over 500 women and children are detained at the Karnes facility. Many are survivors of sexual violence and trauma who have fled to the United States in search of safety and refuge.

No Place for Mothers and Children - a dispatch from the Karnes Family Detention Center in Texas

Outside of The Karnes Family Detention Center

By Samera Hafiz

Last Tuesday I went on a tour of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. What I saw at Karnes has been haunting me ever since. My tour was conducted by a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official at Karnes, who repeatedly referred to the women and children held there as “bodies,” as in “we recently processed two bodies into the facility.” Bodies? He was referring to women and children seeking protection in the U.S.!

Rights Violations at Karnes Detention Center Prompt 125 Women’s and Human Rights Groups to Call on Obama Administration to Stop Detaining Families and Survivors of Violence

September 18, 2014


Olamide M. Noah, 310-701-8476

More than 125 women’s and human rights groups, including We Belong Together and the Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson today calling for the administration to stop detaining mothers and children fleeing Central American violence. A visit this week to a new Texas family detention center revealed that many of those in custody are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes.

Hate Immigrants? Good Luck With Women Voters

Terry O’Neill and Pramila Jayapal
Time Magazine

Fixing our broken immigration system is a crucial part of the struggle for women’s equality

Why did we both get arrested outside the U.S. Capitol last year demanding Congress pass comprehensive immigration reform? Why did Terry join more than 140 other activists outside the White House last week in an act of civil disobedience to demand that President Obama stop deporting workers, parents and children? Why did over 30 Floridian children whose parents have been deported hold a vigil in front of the White House on Monday afternoon to urge the President to stop separating families?

MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes: Children Ask Obama to Stop Taking Kids' Parents

40 brave children who have lost a parent to deportation traveled from Miami Florida to Washington to DC with one goal. To tell President Obama to keep his promise and move forward with executive action to stop deportations and keep families together.

Watch the coverage of the children's vigil on All in with Chris Hayes here.