Immigrants’ rights activists arrested in Arizona

Erika Andiola looks into camera wearing blue shirt

Erika Andiola | Photo credit: AP

A hunger strike started on Presidents’ Day by immigrant detainees at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona and later joined by outside activists has resulted in three arrests. Well-known undocumented youth and national immigration activist Erika Andiola, along with two other immigrants’ rights activists, were arrested on Tuesday after refusing to move from the camp they had set up for the protest. 

Andiola left her job as a staffer for Congresswoman Kyrsten Synema late last year to focus on her mother’s deportation case:

After a short time as a congressional staffer – during the push to bring millions of people out the shadows in the U.S. – I am now needed most as a daughter to my mother. Immigration reform is still possible, but for me, the personal consequences of Washington’s inaction became too great to ignore

The protesters who were arrested were hunger striking in solidarity with six detainees–one of whom was deported mid-hunger strikeprotesting the deportations that plague our broken immigration system, separating families in their wake.

The Eloy Detention center in Arizona has a notoriously bad reputation. The Dream 9 last year exposed horrifying conditions, including the punitive restriction of phone use and long periods of solitary confinement. The mistreatment and rape of a trans detainee as well as detainee suicides have also been documented at Eloy. Unfortunately, none of these things are particular to Eloy–they are endemic to detention centers across the country.

1bfea3e7449eff65a94e2e55a8b7acda-bpfullVerónica is an immigrant queer rabble-rouser.

New York, NY

Verónica Bayetti Flores has spent the last years of her life living and breathing reproductive justice. She has led national policy and movement building work on the intersections of immigrants' rights, health care access, young parenthood, and LGBTQ liberation, and has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, and demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color. In 2008 Verónica obtained her Master’s degree in the Sexuality and Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She loves cooking, making art, listening to music, and thinking about the ways art forms traditionally seen as feminine are valued and devalued. In addition to writing for Feministing, she is currently spending most of her time doing policy work to reduce the harms of LGBTQ youth of color's interactions with the police and making sure abortion care is accessible to all regardless of their income.

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and rabble-rouser.

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