In New York City, immigration activist Marco Saavedra is heading to his final asylum hearing today, where he will argue that his life would be at risk if he is sent to Mexico. Saavedra has been involved in several high-profile immigration actions. In 2012, he purposely got arrested by federal authorities to infiltrate the privately owned Broward Transitional Center in Florida in order to investigate firsthand allegations of human rights abuses inside the secretive facility. This is Marco Saavedra explaining how he got arrested for the action.
Marco Saavedra: “I got arrested undercover. I had to lie and say that I was a recently arrived undocumented immigrant, that I was looking for my cousin that was also a day laborer, and I flashed my Mexican matrícula, and as bait, which the Border Patrol agent had to take and asked me — he asked me directly, 'Are you undocumented?' As soon as he said that, I said, in broken English, Spanglish, 'Yes, sí.' And he said, 'You know I have to arrest you now.' And we have the audio of that, too, on file, where he arrests me. And that’s our entry point into the Broward Transitional Center, which housed 600 undocumented immigrants of low priority for detention, which we wanted to infiltrate.”
As we broadcast, Marco Saavedra is holding a press conference before he heads into his final asylum hearing. Click here to see our full interview with Marco Saavedra.