January 11, 2013
ICE Raids Prominent DREAM Leader’s Home and Detains Mother and Brother
NIYA demands immediate release of Andiola family
NATIONAL—Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided the home of Erika Andiola, one of the most well-known leaders of the undocumented youth movement near midnight last night. We are calling for the immediate release of her mother and brother who were detained in the raid.
Around midnight, ICE agents raided the Andiola home and immediately detained her brother, Herbierto, who was outside. Erika informed the agents that they were not allowed to come inside because they did not have the proper documents. The agents entered the home anyway and detained her mother, Maria Arreola.
Neither Andiola’s mother or brother have ever been charged with a crime. They are, according to ICE policy, “low-priority” and eligible for prosecutorial discretion. While the administration insists that egregious shows of force like this one are no longer used and that “smart enforcement” is its priority, incidents like this one clearly demonstrate the failure of the administration to implement its own policy. This incident, while certainly high-profile, is yet another reminder of the unwillingness to leave behind enforcement no matter what collateral damage it may cause.
Andiola is one of the most visible nationwide activists in the undocumented youth movement. In 2010, she participated in a sit-in at the Senate offices in Washington. Youth activists across the country know Andiola well for her work and she is now the Government Relations Director for DRM Action Coalition, which lobbies for the DREAM Act and other pro-immigrant measures in Washington. Her mother, Maria, who was detained, is also an active member of her community; in 2010, she was part of a four month-long vigil outside the Arizona capitol against SB1070 .
Overnight, nearly 3000 people have signed the petition on DreamActivist.org to demand the release of the Andiola family. Many have found it over Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #SomosAndiola. The petition can be found here: http://action.dreamactivist.org/arizona/maria/
The National Immigrant Youth Alliance is an undocumented youth-led network of 27 organizations in over 24 states that organizes communities to fight deportation and against the criminalization of immigrants. As NIYA we believe the only way to safeguard our communities is to empower, educate and most importantly, escalate.