Five Years, Five Stories

5 Years Since SB1070 was passed in Arizona.
5 Years of We Belong Together.
5 Stories of Women on the Frontlines of Immigration Enforcement

As we prepare to celebrate the women who love and care for our families and communities this Mothers’ Day, We Belong Together is releasing five stories that provide a window into the state of women and immigration five years since the start of the campaign.

This Mothers’ Day marks the 5-year anniversary of both SB1070 and We Belong Together. Our campaign was launched on Mothers’ Day 2010 when a group of women traveled to Arizona in the wake of SB1070’s passage. We wanted to investigate how the new law would affect women, children and families. What we heard were stories of abuse, inhumane treatment and forcible, traumatic separation of mothers from their families, and children from their parents.

Five years later, we spoke again with several women we met on that extraordinary delegation. In their stories, we see the impact of the ongoing crisis in immigration enforcement.

Yet we also see the resilience of women and communities in the face of an immigration system that tears families apart. The women who share their stories here demonstrate the courage to take action for what’s right even when it’s hard—courage many of our nation’s political leaders lack.

This Mothers’ Day, people across the country will be taking action to recognize the sacrifices made by immigrant mothers. We Belong Together is proud to collaborate with more than a dozen organizations to take action on a key immigration enforcement issue impacting families today: family detention. We demand that ICE Director Sarah Saldaña release all the mothers and children in detention and end the practice of family detention immediately. Click here to take action to end this inhumane practice.

To celebrate immigrant mothers’ strength and bravery, we asked five artists from across the continent to create portraits of these five women to accompany their powerful stories. Please read and share their experiences with your friends and family on social media.

MARIA'S STORY: "I PROMISED MYSELF THAT IF I COME OUT OK THEN I WOULD FIGHT FOR OTHERS WHO SUFFERED LIKE ME"

JEANETTE VIZGUERRA: "I HAD TO BE AT MY MOTHER’S SIDE"

DIANA HERNANDEZ: "THIS IS THE ONLY WAY I CAN GIVE MY CHILDREN MORE OPPORTUNITIES"

MARIA ESTHER DIAZ: "I KNOW I CAN’T STOP FIGHTING UNTIL NO MORE MOTHERS HAVE TO GO THROUGH WHAT I’VE BEEN THROUGH"

KENIA GALEANO: "MY SON HAD TO CELEBRATE HIS 2ND BIRTHDAY LOCKED UP INSIDE KARNES."