News and Announcements

Check out our new blog in the Huffington Post: Comprehensive Immigration Bill Does Nothing For Our Families. In this opinion piece our Executive Director, Abraham Paulos, provides an analysis of the current immigration bill S.744, how it criminalizes our communities and separates our families.
As it stands, this specific “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” (S.744) bill does nothing meaningful for our families. Politicians dangle the prospect of legalization in front of us, but with the heavy cost of increased ICE and border enforcement, more deportations of those who have had contact with the criminal legal system, and no right of return for those that have been deported under expansive categories of convictions. We will not accept the legalization of our daughters and sons in exchange for the banishment of our mothers, fathers and all who deserve to be reunited with their families.
Families For Freedom was happy to be in the advisory committee of Human Impact Partners' new report – Family Unity, Family Health: How Family-Focused Immigration Reform Will Mean Better Health for Children and Families – that shines a light on the public health consequences of current immigration policy on children and families. Advised by a nationwide group of health and immigrant rights organizations and researchers, the report pulls together data from a wide range of sources on the impacts that the threat of deportation and detention has on the physical and mental health of children and families
We are migrants, undocumented, green card holders, workers, and students from diverse racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds who are directly affected by unjust and inhumane U.S. immigration policies that tear us apart from our families. With our allies we strongly believe in human rights for all, the right to mobility across continents, family unity, and an end to the current inhumane detention and deportation systems that has deported over 1.6 million people in the last 4 years and which incarcerates millions of people in the U.S. every year.
As usual when Black History Month comes around, there are articles and programs on the struggles and victories of people of African descent in the USA. Most extol the great names and good deeds of Black folks, but there is a gap on Black immigrants and Black immigration. Thankfully, the development of the Black Immigration Network (BIN) is working to address some of the current gaps. Families For Freedom is proud to be a member of BIN.

This is audio from our press conference releasing our new report That Uncovers Wrongful Arrests by Border Patrol and Cash and Other Incentives.

Featuring the voices of
Anetta, US Citizen, Families for Freedom member
Abraham Paulos, Executive Director, Families for Freedom
Nancy Morawetz, NYU Professor and Co-Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic
Christian Ramirez, Human Rights Director, Southern Border Communities Coalition
Ryan Bates, Co-Chair, Northern Border Coalition
facilitated by Esther Portillo-Gonzales, Organizer, Families for Freedom

and the audio from the question and answer section.

On December 13, 2012 Families for Freedom, immigrant rights advocates, local prison abolitionists, and Enlace, the national coordinator of the Private Prison Divestment Campaign, protested outside Scopia Fund Management to demand the company stop investing in private prisons. The demonstration was part of a national Day of Action of the Private Prison Divestment Campaign.

Esther Portillo-Gonzales is the daughter of migrants from El Salvador and was raised in the Pico-Union area in Los Angeles, the gateway for many migrants from Central America and Mexico. Esther comes to Families for Freedom with 11 years of community organizing experience that has enabled her to work on immigrant and worker rights issues and environmental justice with diverse communities in California and New York. In 2011, she was the Research Fellow at the Applied Research Center (ARC) and worked on the groundbreaking report, “Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of the Immigration Enforcement and Child Welfare System”. Earlier this year, she led organizing efforts to secure humanitarian parole for a deported father from Mexico who returned to the U.S. to fight for his parental rights, which were threatened as a result of his deportation.

For more than ten years Families for Freedom has been on the frontline of fighting for human rights. We are current and former detainees, deportees and their loved ones. We address the unjust systems that criminalizes us because we are poor, that incarcerates us because we are people of color and forces us to migrate back to plundered lands. As federal deportation programs continue to proliferate in every jurisdiction in the country, our fight has become increasingly critical and relevant to our lives, our families and our communities.
Under the current administration we endure record breaking deportations. In the last four years the U.S. has forced close to two million people out of the country. President Obama’s iron fist approach to aggressive policing targets poor communities of color through programs such as “Secure Communities”, 287g, and local NYC enforcement programs like Stop and Frisk. In the wake of reignited talks around Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), a proposal spearheaded by our New York Senator Schumer that aims to increase the unprecedented levels of deportations. The proposal tenets also include but are not limited to: increase border and interior enforcement, an expanded skilled guest worker program, an English proficiency requirement and a national ID card that threatens civil liberties and human rights.