Diane Guerrero headshot. Jeffrey Mosier Photography 2014. Via TIME.

Quick Hit: Diane Guerrero on Immigration Raids

While a pic of the Orange Is The New Black writers’ room is getting attention on Twitter today for its shocking lack of [non-canine] diversity, I can’t help but wish that another member of the show’s crew were getting more attention: Diane Guerrero.

Guerrero, who recently published a memoir aimed at humanizing the experience of living as an undocumented immigrant in America, has penned a powerful op-ed for TIME on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and their devastating impact. It’s a powerful piece that builds on Diane’s own experiences before weaving in the infuriating story of Kimberly Chavez:

Teenagers, including 19-year-old Kimberly Pineda Chavez from Honduras, have been stopped by ICE agents on their way to school or while waiting at the bus stop. Chavez and her younger sister came to Atlanta from Honduras two years ago to escape threats and violence. She spent 10 weeks in prison at the Irwin detention facility, and it wasn’t until community pressure and 25,000 petition signatures that she was able to return home and to school. She continues to fight to stay here with her family.

Chavez, like many of the others detained in states like North Carolina and Georgia, was arrested despite evidence that she was not given a fair chance to apply for asylum in immigration court. A recent article in theHuffington Post revealed that the Atlanta immigration court, where Chavez was processed, denied 98% of asylum applications last year, almost double the national average.

These raids don’t just immediately affect families; they create ripples in communities. Teachers have spoken out against the raids, highlighting the harm done to children’s well-being and educational opportunities when immigrant students are scared to go to school. Mothers are afraid to leave their homes to go to work or to a doctor’s appointment. Raids are tearing the social fabric of our communities.

Check out the full piece here.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman started blogging with Feministing in 2008, and now runs partnerships and strategy as a co-Executive Director. She is also the Director of Youth Engagement at Women Deliver, where she promotes meaningful youth engagement in international development efforts, including through running the award-winning Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. Lori was formerly the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has also worked at the United Nations Foundation on the Secretary-General's flagship Every Woman Every Child initiative, and at the International Women’s Health Coalition and Human Rights Watch. As a leading voice on women’s rights issues, Lori frequently consults, speaks and publishes on feminism, activism and movement-building. A graduate of Harvard University, Lori has been named to The Root 100 list of the most influential African Americans in the United States, and to Forbes Magazine‘s list of the “30 Under 30” successful mediamakers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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