a drawing of Nan-Hui with her child and text saying "Nan-Hui is FREE"

Breaking: Nan-Hui Jo released from immigration detention

Nan-Hui Jo, the undocumented survivor of domestic violence who was convicted of child abduction for fleeing abuse with her child and was detained in ICE custody facing deportation, has been released on bond from immigration detention

We celebrate Nan-Hui’s release from jail as an incredible, critical victory following nearly one year of incarceration. We know, however, that the struggle is not over. She still needs to rebuild her relationship with her daughter, who hasn’t seen her mother since July 29, 2014. Despite her release from detention, she is still fighting deportation in upcoming immigration hearings. She is still challenging her unjust criminal conviction for child abduction, which resulted from the actions she had taken to protect herself and her child.

Nan-Hui’s release is just one step towards justice in a context of overwhelming personal and institutional violence and trauma: lengthy and undue detainment and forced separation between mother and child; an aggressive and racist prosecution from the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office; and the threat of deportation and permanent separation from her daughter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement in spite of laws meant to provide survivors with immigration relief. It is critical for us to see that these multiple abuses all stemmed from domestic violence: the violence itself, the enormous ignorance surrounding it and the complete failure to recognize and support survivors in their right to self defense and to protect their children. We live in a society where survivors are blamed and judged for staying in abusive relationships, yet, as in Nan-Hui’s case, are also unduly punished when they leave.

Like the case of Marissa Alexander, Nan-Hui’s case is further evidence of the ways our deeply broken criminal (in)justice system serves to further marginalize communities of color, undocumented and immigrant communities, and those who already live at the margins. And it’s a reminder that for us to work toward justice for survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence we must find options outside of those systems.

Header image credit: Stand with Nan-Hui

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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