Last night, Rachel Maddow interviewed one of the so-called Dream 9 – nine young men and women who were brought to the United States as children, without documents, and who recently staged a bold public action when they re-entered the country from Mexico, again without documents, knowing that they would likely be detained immediately upon arrival by U.S. immigration agents. On the Rachel Maddow Show, Lulu Martinez described her experience of being held in solitary confinement for 8 days at Eloy Detention Center in Arizona – punishment, she said, for providing information, with another Dream 9 woman, about a free legal hotline to her fellow detainees, and for encouraging them to “chant and speak out against injustices that were happening in the detention center.”
Typically, solitary confinement completely isolates immigration detainees: They are generally confined to a small jail cell for twenty-three hours a day, with little to no…
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Jorge-Mario Cabrera remembers reading about the estimated 1 million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans deported or scared into leaving their homes in the U.S. by government officials trying desperately to improve the economy during the Great Depression of the 1930s in the book, “Decade of Betrayal,” by Raymond Rodriguez and Francisco Balderrama.
It was the mid-1990s, the book had recently hit shelves, and Cabrera says it was required reading at the University of California at Santa Cruz where he was a community studies major. The co-author, Raymond Rodriguez, recently passed away on June 24 from a heart attack at age 87, but his legacy still strikes a chord in Cabrera, who is of Salvadoran descent, as well as in other immigrants today.
“I thought this could not have happened in my America — in a place that valued justice, freedom and the pursuit of happiness,” says Cabrera, director of communications at…
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