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Puente Responds to Indictment of Danny’s Carwash Raid Victims

8.19.13 Phoenix

We now have proof that this was an immigration raid. The indictment unsealed today charges 14 managers at Danny’s Carwashes with “criminal responsibility for engaging in a conspiracy to employ unauthorized aliens.” In addition, 30 people supposedly detained only for questioning are now in removal proceedings because of the raid.

Carlos Garcia, organizer with Puente, says, “In Arizona, it’s hard to tell the difference between Arpaio and Obama. The gap between state and federal policy and practice has only narrowed. Work continues to be criminalized, and children will go to sleep without their parents tonight. While claiming to only deport criminals, the Obama administration has shown that they consider all immigrants criminals.”
Read the full indictment at


  • On Mother’s Day, Migrant Community Speaks Out Against Family Separation

    ‘We All Belong With Our Children; Free the Victims of the Sportex Raid,’ Mothers Demand

    What: Mother’s Day Speak-out and Vigil in honor of all mothers and demanding release of 13 Sportex Raid victims currently in immigrant detention

    Where: ICE Central Office, 2035 N Central Ave.

    When: 4pm, Today, Friday, May 10– Mother’s Day in Mexico
    Who: Puente Arizona
    Visuals: Monument of flowers, photos, gifts for mothers will be built

    Today, on Mexican Mother’s Day, Puente Arizona and supporters will gather at ICE to raise their voices against family separation. In honor of Mother’s Day, they will demand an end to deportations, and that ICE immediately release the 13 mothers and grandmothers being detained as a result of Arpaio’s workplace raid at Sportex Apparel in February.

    Natally Cruz, mother and organizer with Puente Arizona, says, “No child should ever have to suffer from family separation. Today, we honor all the mothers in our community, and demand an end to the deportations and out-of-control immigration enforcement that separates us from our families.”


    Puente Movement Says Stopping Deportations Top Priority As Debate Moves Forward

    President Obama Cannot Continue to Deport 1400 People a Day, Collude with Arpaio, while Claiming to Support Comprehensive Reform

    04.18.2013 – Phoenix, AZ

    The day after the Senate ‘Gang of 8′ introduced their immigration reform proposal, immigrant groups around the country are calling on the President to stop deportations. The Puente Movement also demands that Sheriff Arpaio be immediately brought to justice, stopping him from workplace and neighborhood raids that set up thousands of Arizonans to be ineligible for any reform that comes to pass.

    As the President of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, said in a press conference yesterday,

    “We also want to emphasize that while we are making progress in Washington, there is an accelerating crisis of deportations in America…. We know that there will be a roadmap to citizenship soon, but not soon enough for hundreds of thousands of hard working people…

    We call on the administration to cease deportations of people who will soon be eligible for a long overdue roadmap to citizenship so the legislative process can proceed without prolonging the crisis. That is the sensible and humane thing to do. When a war is about to end, it makes sense to reach a cease-fire rather than extend the suffering needlessly.”

    Carlos Garcia of the Puente Movement explained, “We want our loved ones to still be here when the path to citizenship opens, without felony charges that make them ineligible just because they were working to feed their families. The President can’t be the champion of reform and the deporter-in-chief at the same time. He can start the reform process now by extending the same relief he gave Dreamers to our entire community and bringing Arpaio to justice as a necessary step for any possible reform to be inclusive and truly comprehensive.”

    Puente Movement with partners in Phoenix and across the country will be organizing immigrant communities and educating legislators to move the President to repair the damage of his current policies and push for a bill that stops deportations, protects workers’ rights, and includes all 11 million.


    Raid Victims Face Montgomery’s Elevated Charges in Court Today

    Migrant Families Demand that Charges Be Dropped, an End to Unjust Raids

    What: Court Hearing for 23 Sportex Raid Victims, followed by March to Bill Montgomery’s Office to request that he meet raided families and drop all charges stemming from Arpaio’s Raids

    When: Court starts at 8:30; March arriving at Montgomery’s Office at 10:30

    Where: Superior Courthouse, 175 W Madison St. March to Montgomery’s Office at 301 W Jefferson St.

    Who: Families of Raid Victims and Puente Arizona

    Today, Monday April 15, family members of those detained in Arpaio’s latest raid and community supporters will pack the courtroom in support of the raid victims and to demand that all charges be dropped. The outcome of this court hearing will determine the raid victims’ ability to fight their deportation cases, and so is a critical moment in mounting pressure on County Attorney Bill Montgomery. All 23 are being offered a plea deal, which if they accept means near-certain deportation.

    Carlos Garcia with Puente Arizona says, “Montgomery has already lowered the charges he is pressing against undocumented workers, showing that our community’s pressure is working. However, the charges they are facing would still make them ineligible for bond, and set them up for near-certain deportation, all for working and attempting to feed their families. We are asking Montgomery to recognize the illegality of Arpaio’s workplace raids and to drop all criminal charges against workers arrested in these raids.”

    Follow @puenteaz for live updates.


    Arpaio Strikes Again: Puente Movement Responds to Yesterday’s Workplace Raid
    Yesterday, Arpaio and his posse performed yet another workplace raid, arresting 11 people at 3 locations of America’s Tacos across the valley. This raid marks the 3rd raid of 2013 and the 72 raid of Arpaio’s reign of terror, leaving behind separated families and ruined lives.

    Carlos Garcia, Community Organizer with the Puente Movement, says, “We know that Arpaio is a racist bigot who intentionally terrorizes our community. With his prosecutorial decisions, Montgomery is actively colluding with him. The time has come for Montgomery to choose which side of history he wants to be on. Montgomery has the power to stop these unjust workplace raids and drop all charges against Arpaio’s victims. Montgomery, our families are being separated every day: will you take action to alleviate our suffering?”


    Bride Detained in Workplace Raid Day Before Her Wedding Fights Deportation
    Community Stands with Ivon Against Workplace Raids and Family Separation
    What: Press Conference and Rally
    When: Today, Monday, March 18 at 10am
    Where: ICE Offices at 2035 N Central Ave, Phoenix
    Who: Ivon Díaz and her family, Puente Arizona, community supporters
    Today, Ivon Díaz will reject ICE’s request that she sign a voluntary departure and leave her family behind. She was arrested when Arpaio raided her workplace the day before her wedding two years ago. Now the mother of a beautiful baby girl and married to the love of her life, Ivon would be eligible for a Deferred Action for Dream Act eligible youth Work permit, except for her felony charge stemming from Arpaio’s raid.
    Carlos Garcia, lead organizer with Puente Arizona, says, “Ivon is just one of many whose lives have been destroyed by out-of-control immigration enforcement in Arizona. She has been victimized by Arpaio’s unjust workplace raids and Montgomery’s choice to follow ICE’s roadmap for securing deportations by charging undocumented workers with the maximum possible penalty. However, Ivon has her community behind her and she knows that she belongs here, with her husband and daughter in the country that they have made their home. Together, we will stop this family from being separated by the actions of Montgomery and Arpaio.”

    Video of Ivon Telling Her Story

    Petition Demanding to ICE Director John Morton demanding that Ivon Díaz’s voluntary departure order be vacated, and that she be granted deferred action :


    Families of Montgomery’s and Arpaio’s Victims March Against Deportations and Workplace Raids

    Workers and Families Rally, ‘Working is not a Crime, Separating Families is!’

    What: March Against Deportation, Family Separation, and Workplace Raids

    Where: From Indian Steele Park (3rd St and Indian School) to ICE Headquarters (2035 N. Central Avenue) to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s Office (301 W Jefferson), Phoenix AZ

    When: Leaving 8:00 am TODAY Monday, March 11th, 2013, arriving at Montgomery’s office at 11am

    Who: Family members of Arpaio’s and Montgomery’s victims, concerned community and Puente Arizona

    While immigration reform is debated in Washington, D.C., family members of Arpaio’s victims and concerned community members demand an end to family separation. Today, Puente Arizona and the affected families march to ICE Headquarters and Montgomery’s offices, highlighting the link between family separation and the county attorney’s decision to maximize charges against Arpaio’s victims, following ICE’s roadmap for securing deportations.

    Julia Ojeda, whose husband is still in custody after being arrested at Arpaio’s recent raid at Sportex Apparel, says, “My children ask me where their father is and I don’t know what to tell them. I feel deceived because supposedly this country is for opportunity, so we came here to work for a better life for our children. Now we will fight for our rights until all the charges are dropped against my husband and the others, just for working.”

    Carlos Garcia says, “We need immediate relief for our entire community. Montgomery is turning working into a crime by choosing high-level charges instead of using his discretion to allow our families to stay together. With Arpaio’s racist raids and Montgomery’s decision to prosecute undocumented workers with the maximum penalty, and President Obama’s deportation quotas, immigration reform will come too late for many if it doesn’t start with an end to deportations.”

    Follow @puenteaz for live updates.


    Puente Statement Responding to Immigrant Detention Releases
    ‘ICE Has Shown Us How Unnecessary Detention Truly Is’
    Hundreds of immigrant detainees were released this weekend in Phoenix, with hundreds more expected to follow this week, joined by thousands across the country. While ICE claims budget cuts are reason behind the releases, it begs the question, why was the federal government spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on detaining them in the first place?
    Carlos Garcia, Executive Director of the Puente Human Rights Movement, says, “The releases show us that those detained never needed to be behind bars. We have always known that detention is punitive, keeping families apart while people fight their civil immigration cases. Now ICE has shown us that there is no reason for people to be detained while they fight their cases. They shouldn’t stop at releasing hundreds. They should close the entire unnecessary immigration detention system.”


    Families of 27 Immigrants Arrested in Workplace Raid speak out against Deportations and Family Separation

    Immigrants make Valentine’s Day plea for Family Unity, an End to Raids, and Not One More Deportation
    What: Stop Deportations Press Conference
    When: Today, Thursday February 14th at 12:00 noon
    Where: Outside of Superior Courthouse, 222 E Javelina Ave, Mesa
    Who: Family members of those arrested in workplace raid last Friday

    While in Washington DC, politicians debate the latest round of immigration reform legislation, in Maricopa County, families are being torn apart every day. 27 immigrants, mostly older women with medical conditions, will all appear in court today after being arrested during a workplace raid orchestrated by Sheriff Arpaio at Sportex Apparel in Tempe last Friday, February 8.
    Families of those detained will speak about the suffering caused by these raids and the threatened deportations of their loved ones, demanding that President Obama take immediate action to relieve their pain by stopping all deportations.
    “We will not allow one more member of our community to be torn away from their family,” says Jovana Renteria, Community Organizer with the Puente Movement. “We need Congress to take action for our entire community, but that will take time. Today, we need President Obama to end all deportations, to alleviate the suffering of these 27 families and the thousands of others threatened with separation this very minute.”


    Phoenix To March Against Family Separation and SB1070

    We Unite to Demand the End of S-COMM in AZ, say Migrant Families and Allies

    Who: Puente Human Rights Movement

    What: March for Dignity

    Where: Rally at Indian Steel Park, Indian School and 3rd St., and marching to ICE headquarters (2035 N Central Ave)

    When: Saturday, July 28th at 9 am

    On Saturday July 28th, Puente Arizona and concerned community members will march to demand dignity and an end to family separation. In light of the recent Supreme Court decision that upheld the racial profiling provision of SB1070, migrant communities and their allies are demanding that President Obama stop the deportation of SB1070’s victims by ending Arizona’s access to federal deportation program Secure Communities.

    Carlos Garcia of the Puente Human Rights Movement says, “Every day, our families are torn apart because ICE collaborates with SB1070 and Arpaio and we are not going to stand for it any longer. President Obama has the power to stop the human rights crisis in Arizona in its tracks. We march on July 28th to show him that our communities are stronger than hate.”


    Phoenix Unites Against Racial Profiling and Family Separation

    Migrant Families Call On President Obama to End SCOMM in AZ

    Today, Phoenix unites to continue the fight against racial profiling legislated in SB1070’s Provision 2b, previously enjoined but upheld in this morning’s Supreme Court decision. While the federal government discontinued one component of the 287g program in Arizona in response to the ruling, Secure Communities (SCOMM) replaced 287g as the primary tool of police-ICE collaboration two years ago. Migrant families on the ground in Arizona demand that President Obama remove Arizona’s access to Secure Communities, as part of our continued fight against SB1070, racial profiling, and family separation.

    Leticia Ramirez, an undocumented mother of three and member of the Puente Movement, says, “Today, we are outraged and ready to fight. Our community is going to keep organizing and defending our neighborhoods and families against racial profiling and SB1070.”

    Carlos Garcia of the Puente Human Rights Movement says, “The federal government has a responsibility to intervene in Arizona. We will not comply with hate and neither should the President. SB1070 can only function if ICE willingly collaborates with profiling police. have. We call on President Obama to prevent the human rights crisis in Arizona from getting worse. He has shown he has the authority to grant us relief. Nothing short of fully cutting off Arizona’s access to ICE can alleviate Arizona’s suffering. If he does not act immediately by terminating SCOMM in Arizona, he will be an accomplice in the civil rights violations that follow.”

    Online Petition demanding that President Obama to stop SB1070 by refusing to deport its victims:

    Video Call to Action:

    Follow @puenteaz for updates


    Banned Book Library to Open

    Books Read in TUSD Banned Mexican American Studies Program ‘Smuggled’ Into Phoenix

    Who: Puente Human Rights Movement, the Unitarian Universalist Church, and Librotraficante

    What: Grand Opening of Banned Books Library

    Where: Puente Offices, 1306 E Van Buren

    When: Sunday, June 24, 7:00pm

    Today, members of the Unitarian Universalist Church and Librotraficante will “smuggle” hundreds of banned books into the Phoenix offices of the Puente Human Rights Movement. Many of these books were removed from Tucson schools when their Mexican American Studies program was forcibly terminated. Banned author Stella Pope Duarte will be joining this evening of cultural resistance.

    Sandra Castro, an organizer with the Puente Human Rights Movement, says, “Here in Arizona, we live in a hostile, anti-immigrant climate that deprives Chicano and migrant people of our own history. TUSD’s banning of Mexican American Studies was one more silencing of our communities. We are opening this library to stand with our comrades in Tucson fighting for their education and so that our people can have access to books that tell our own histories, as part of our ongoing struggle for justice and dignity in the state of Arizona.”


    Community Members Gather in Florence to Demand Dignity Not Detention

    Sixth Vigil in Campaign Insisting ICE End its Contract with Pinal County Jail

    What: Vigil and Speak out

    When: 5:30 pm Saturday, June 16th

    Where: Pinal County Jail parking lot (971 N Jason Lopez Cir, Florence, AZ)

    Who: the Arizona Detention Working Group, a coalition of concerned organizations and individuals, including ACLU of Arizona, the Puente Movement, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and the Restoration Project

    Speakers will include immigrants formerly detained at the Pinal County Jail, Victoria Lopez, one of the authors of the ACLU report on inhumane conditions at PCJ, and Carlos Garcia, community organizer with the Puente Movement.

    In light of the Obama administration’s record deportations and the possible pending if SB1070 is upheld, increasing number of people swept up in the immigration dragnet and serving time in detention centers like the Pinal County Jail.

    As the Supreme Court gears up for its decision on SB1070, a coalition of immigrants’ rights groups, civil rights organizations and community members call on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to end its detention contract with Pinal County Jail (PCJ). Advocates caution that if SB1070 is upheld, we will see a massive influx of immigrants subjected to the inhumane and deficient conditions at PCJ.

    “Our families and communities are being devastated by ICE detention, and we will only see an increase in family separation and human rights violations in detention centers if SB1070 is upheld”, says Carlos Garcia with the Puente Human Rights Movement.

    Arizona advocates regularly receive reports from detained individuals and their families about major problems at PCJ including inadequate medical care, insufficient hygiene supplies, no contact visits with family, no outdoor recreation and verbal abuse by jail personnel. These problems have persisted in the jail for many years.

    In a letter sent Tuesday, June 12, 2012 to ICE Director John Morton and other top government officials, the ACLU charges that, “[Conditions at the Pinal County Jail] violate the U.S. Constitution, as well as ICE’s own National Detention Standards, and continue in spite of the Obama administration’s pledge – honored mostly in the breach – to establish a truly civil system of immigration detention, The confinement of immigration detainees at PCJ, at least under current conditions, has no place in any system that aspires to civility.”

    Phoenix Prepares to March Against SB1070

    Wide Coalition Demands Supreme Court Strike Down Arizona Bill, End to Similar Federal Programs

    What: Banner and Poster Making for April 25th March for Justice

    When: Today, Tuesday April 24th at 12pm and 5pm

    Where: Puente Office, 1306 E Van Buren St.

    Visuals: Posters and Banners

    Who: Puente Movement and a wide coalition of Immigrant, Civil, and Human Rights Organizations

    As the Supreme Court prepares to begin hearing arguments in the Department of Justice lawsuit against the state of Arizona’s SB1070, communities in Arizona are preparing to march demanding an end to anti-immigrant policies and laws. Today, people come together. On April 25th, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in the Department of Justice lawsuit against the state of Arizona’s SB1070. Communities in Arizona will come together to protest against the state bill and call for an end to both state and federal policies that erode civil rights, promote racial profiling, and enable local law enforcement such as Sheriff Arpaio to use immigration policy to enforce their prejudice. A wide coalition of faith organizations and civil, human, and immigrant rights groups are planning a family-friendly march to demonstrate the vast and unified community opposition to SB1070 and family separation caused by unjust state and federal immigration policies.

    Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix related, “SB1070 is legislation born out of fear and intolerance. Yet faith calls us to not be afraid, and to stand on the side of love and equality. The effects of SB1070, and the federal policy of mass detention and deportation is tearing apart families and with it the social fabric and community of our state. We march to stand up for justice, equal protection, human rights and human dignity and in opposition to SB 1070.”

    Sandra Castro of Puente says, “We shouldn’t allow SB1070 and all the other copycat laws that have gone into effect in the last two years to continue. This is state-sanctioned xenophobia and racism that 50% of Arizona is opposed to. SB1070 is nothing but a law that allows legislators who are xenophobic to perpetuate hate, racism, discrimination. Look at our history books—the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Manazar camp, the concentration camps for the Japanese, the attacks on the Irish migrants and we all question, why didn’t anybody do anything then? We are going through generation after generation of people being under attack. We need to get rid of SB1070 and other copycat laws and 2 there is another group under attack and used as American’s scapegoat.”


    Press Conference Denouncing SB1070 and Family Separation

    April 25th March Demands Supreme Court Strike Down Arizona Bill, End to Similar Federal Programs

    What: Press Conference to Announce April 25th March Against SB1070

    When: Friday, April 13th, 11am

    Where: In front of the Federal Courthouse, 401 W. Washington Street, Suite 130, Phoenix

    Who: Arizona Dream Act Coalition , Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Somos America, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, Puente Movement, Migrant, Inner city, and Rural Aid, Interfaith Worker Justice of Arizona, 3rdSpace, La Frontera Times, Hispanic Community Forum, Restoration Project-Phoenix, Arizona Teachers for Justice, Phoenix Urban Health Collective, Phoenix Showing Up for Racial Justice, LULAC Chapter IIII, Occupy Phoenix, Arizona Advocacy Network, Promise Arizona/PAZ, Mi Familia Vota, and Los Abogados

    Today, Friday, April 13th, a wide coalition of civil, human, and immigrant rights groups will announce an upcoming march against SB1070 and stand together against family separation caused by unjust state and federal immigration policies. Speakers will include Pedro Gutierrez of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, Reverend Susan Frederick-Grey of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, Tia Oso of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Carlos Garcia of the Puente Movement, and Alessandra Soler Meetze of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona.

    On April 25th, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in the Department of Justice lawsuit against the state of Arizona’s SB1070. Communities in Arizona will come together to protest against the state bill and call for an end to both state and federal policies that erode civil rights, promote racial profiling, and enable local law enforcement such as Sheriff Arpaio to use immigration policy to enforce their prejudice.

    Pedro Gutierrez is a DREAM-Act eligible father, who was facing imminent deportation after a routine traffic stop until granted a temporary stay of removal yesterday. Laws like SB1070 and other state and federal deportation programs routinely separate parents from their U.S.-born children, devastating families and communities. While Pedro has been granted a temporary reprieve from deportation, his struggle, and that of millions of other immigrant parents to come home to their children every night, is far from over.

    “SB1070 and other local immigration enforcement efforts in Arizona have put many immigrants, legal residents and U.S. citizens at risk for civil rights violations,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of ACLU of Arizona. “We hope the Supreme Court recognizes the need for a fair and just federal immigration system, not a patchwork of unconstitutional state anti-immigrant laws that are costly, discriminatory and un-American.”

    Carlos Garcia of Puente adds, “With SB1070, Arizona declared a war of attrition on immigrants. What started in Arizona quickly led to the Arizonification of this country, with hate and racial profiling being legalized in many states. The human rights crisis that has been ripping families and communities apart will only continue if the Supreme Court upholds SB1070.