Since 2010, expanding on the GLAHR’s Deportation Defense efforts, we demanded the release of our members. In 2018 with #ReleaseAle, Alejandra Pablos, an immigrant-rights and reproductive justice rights organizer and member of Mijente, was detained by ICE for her role as a prominent organizer. From the national organizing to protect the retaliation by ICE against activists, she was released to fight her deportation and exposed ICE’s targeting of advocates.

In 2018, in the age of rampant deportations, we continue fighting for community members that were detained in ICE facilities in Georgia. With the help of legal counsel, we secured the release of Maribel Santander, who had been in detention in the Atlanta Detention Center for more than one year. We also won the release of Adrian Saucedo, a long-time immigrant rights organizer, farm worker, and member of GLAHR. We organized our community members to call the Sheriff’s office and petition for Adrian’s release. We were able to raise our goal of $12,000 to afford bond for Adrian. At this moment, he is no longer in ICE custody!

In the same year, we advocated for the release of long-time GLAHR member José De Jesús Esparza Morales, or Chuy as we all know him. Chuy was detained by Duluth Police for driving without a license. He was in immigration Custody for almost two months until we showed up in force at his bond hearing and demanded that the Immigration Judge give him bond. Chuy has now been released to his community and continues to fight for his right to stay in the United States.

January 2021 marked the end of the 287(g) program in Cobb and Gwinnett county. These victories were the result of a constant fight of almost ten years. Ten years of resilience from a community that never stops believing in the possibility of change. Our marches, our call to action, our rallies to our civic engagement work came to fruition. The Black and Latinxs vote was crucial to ending the 287(g) program but also a step forward to cultivating the culture of voting with a victory in hand. The end of these two programs are not only local victories but a national victory against ICE’s deportation machine that for many years terrorized the immigrant community in these two counties.