***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
NIYA Demands that ICE Stop the Unjust Deportation of Celebrity Kat Stacks
ICE may deport Andrea Herrera, “Kat Stacks”, her for online persona
LOUISIANA—Andrea Herrera, better known by her alias “Kat Stacks,” may face deportation based on her public persona rather than the merits of her case. As a victim of sex trafficking as a minor and being a low-priority case, Dreamactivist.org is demanding that Immigration and Customs Enforcement stop pursuing her deportation and allow her to remain in the country.
“ICE is more interested in her public persona than they are in the merits of her case. This is an outrage,” says Viridiana Martinez, an organizer with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance. “She’s a victim of sex trafficking and a low-priority case. She has the exact kind of case the administration has promised not to pursue anymore.”
Herrera, 22, came to the United States when she was eight years old. At age fifteen, she was kidnapped by a pimp named “Prince” that forced her into prostitution. She was able to reunite with her family at nineteen, and has been attempting to recover ever since. As of today, Herrera has spent 22 months inside Lasalle Detention Center in Louisiana, harming her and further preventing her from living a normal life. She is away from her three-year-old son, who misses her dearly.
Herrera used her online persona to recover some of the humanity taken away from her as a victim of sex trafficking. In court, an expert witness stated that “…the persona, Kat Stacks, was a way for the Respondent to claim a little bit of the power that had been repeatedly taken away from her. It gave her a sense of empowerment and a sense of being able to control her own destiny.” Her family and counsel are pursuing a visa for Herrera as a victim of human trafficking. During her previous attempt to adjust status, the judge cited her persona instead as a reason to deport her, not as an attempt to cope with her trauma. “In sum, the Court finds that the Respondent’s behavior as an online persona is a significant negative equity,” court documents read. NIYA strongly disagrees.
A petition for Herrera can be found here: http://action.dreamactivist.
Andrea has been tweeting from detention at @AdmireAndrea, rallying supporters with the Twitter hashtag #FreeKatStacks
The Herrera family is available for interviews upon request.