Clicky
Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power. Democracy Now! is different because we don't accept government or advertising dollars—we count on you, our global audience, to fund our work.Right now, all donations to Democracy Now! will be doubled by a generous donor. Pretty amazing, right? It just takes a few minutes to make sure Democracy Now! is there for you and everyone else in 2018.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Donate

DREAM Activist Speaks Out on Infiltrating Florida Detention Center to Find Wrongly Held Immigrants

Listen
Media Options
Listen

In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we’re joined by DREAM activist Viridiana Martinez, who calls us live from a detention center in Pompano Beach, Florida. Martinez is one of a group of undocumented activists with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance who have infiltrated the Broward Transitional Center and found dozens of immigrants who should be released under Obama’s discretionary guidelines. A review of cases to remove low-priority deportations, such as those involving immigrants with no criminal records and strong family ties, has so far stopped less than 2 percent of removals. Click here to listen to a longer interview with Martinez conducted by Democracy Now!’s Renée Feltz. [includes rush transcript]

Related Story

Video squareStorySep 19, 2017Meet Dulce Garcia: DREAMer & Immigration Lawyer Who Is Suing Trump for Ending DACA
Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: We turn now to a DREAMer detained. In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we go now to a DREAM activist, Martinez, who is calling us now from a detention center in Pompano Beach, Florida.

AMY GOODMAN: Viridiana Martinez is one of a group of undocumented activists with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance who have infiltrated the Broward Transitional Center and found dozens of immigrants who should be released under Obama’s discretionary guidelines. A review of cases to remove low-priority deportations, such as those involving immigrants with no criminal records and strong family ties, has so far stopped less than 2 percent of removals.

Viridiana Martinez, welcome to Democracy Now! Describe where you are right now. We just have a minute, but why were you willing to be arrested and deported to find out what was happening inside this jail?

VIRIDIANA MARTINEZ: Yes, ma’am. Good morning.

I am at Broward detention center right now talking to you on the phone. Basically, I have been—I allowed myself to be detained, because we knew that—we were getting phone calls, we were getting emails from family members of people who had been picked up and were, for months and months and months and months, being held here. And we were taking their cases from afar, creating online petitions for them to stop their deportation. And after the many calls and the many emails, we decided to come here and see what was going on. And what we have found is, like expected, that a majority of cases here are low-priority cases that, according to President Obama’s announcement last year, he was not going to be departing. And yet, they’re all being held here.

AMY GOODMAN: Viridiana, are you going to be deported?

VIRIDIANA MARTINEZ: [inaudible] I mean, [inaudible]. You know, but it’s not—I think that I’m pretty—I mean, based on, you know, the deferred action announcement, I’m pretty safe, I would say. As for people that I—that I came in here, the cases that I came in here to expose are those people who, you know, don’t have the spotlight. They’re not DREAMers. And, you know, they’re the people who have been detained for two-and-a-half years, for, you know, over eight months now, for—you know, that are suffering in terrible conditions. They clearly should be released, and they’re not. They’re being held here. And this place is owned by a private company, by GEO, and there is money being made at the expense of—at the suffering of these people.

AMY GOODMAN: Viridiana Martinez, I want to thank you for being with us, a DREAM activist with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, who got arrested and is inside the Broward Transitional Center, got arrested on purpose so that she could find out if others are there who should be released. This is a private jail owned, run by GEO. For a full interview with her, you can go to democracynow.org. Democracy Now!'s Renée Feltz does a half-hour interview to find out what's happening in the jail.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Next story from this daily show

First Soldier Tried in Hazing Death of Pvt. Danny Chen Gets 30-Day Term, Evades Homicide Conviction

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation
Up arrowTop