Grassroots Leadership Blog

WATCH: Texas Advocates for Justice #kNOwMORE2017 highlight video and recap

On February 1, Texas Advocates for Justice was honored to host a state-wide gathering of individuals whose lived experiences include incarceration, detention/deportation, and mental illness. The kNOw More Advocacy Day featured spirited marching, memorable speeches, an indelible art exhibit, and powerful conversations with Texas legislators. The daylong gathering was planned and led by individuals whose lives have been most affected by Texas jails Read more about WATCH: Texas Advocates for Justice #kNOwMORE2017 highlight video and recap.

Announcing Sofia Casini's new role at Grassroots Leadership

Sofia Casini, immigration programs coordinator

I am pleased to announce that Sofia Casini has joined our staff full-time as our new immigration programs coordinator. To many of you, Sofia is a familiar face. She has been working as our detention visitation coordinator since 2015.

Sofia Casini brings over 15 years of experience working with immigrants, refugees, and victims of trafficking.  Read more about Announcing Sofia Casini's new role at Grassroots Leadership

What we're fighting for at the Texas Legislature

Today marks the first day of the 85th Texas Legislature, and we're gearing up for a fight. We are ready to stand with those who have felt the devastation of our mass incarceration crisis first hand. We will fight to protect immigrants and keep families together. And, on February 1, 2017 criminal justice and immigration groups from around the state will converge in Austin for a march, rally, art exhbit and visits to legislators to speak boldly about what we are fighting for. We hope that you'll join usRead more about What we're fighting for at the Texas Legislature

We do not consent. We will not comply. We will fight back.

Like many of you, we are shocked, saddened and angered by Tuesday’s national election results. For some of us, the results are traumatizing. Donald Trump spent more than a year on the campaign trail threatening immigrants, making explicitly racist statements, bragging about sexual assault, mocking women, people with disabilities, and Muslims, encouraging supporters to beat up Black protestors, and promoting violent and illegal policies.   Read more about We do not consent. We will not comply. We will fight back.

Incoming sheriff can tackle criminal justice reform while stopping deportations

By Alejandro Caceres and Jorge Antonio Renaud

A recent Statesman editorial (Wanted: Sheriff who keeps Austin out of Legislature crosshairs, Sept. 24) about the race for Travis County Sheriff suggested that we cannot have both criminal justice reforms and an end to deportations in Travis County. We couldn’t disagree more. We see everyday why you cannot stack a broken immigration system on top of a broken criminal justice system and expect a more just world. Read more about Incoming sheriff can tackle criminal justice reform while stopping deportations

Hilda and Ivan are free at last!

Hilda Ramirez is finally able to leave St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church after she and her son Ivan spent the past 8 months in sanctuary there. Hilda and Ivan were granted deferred action of one year by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which means they are not at risk of deportation for the next year. Read more about Hilda and Ivan are free at last!

Dr. Satsuki Ina: Licensing family detention as "childcare" harkens back to WWII-era euphisms

The following is an excerpt of Dr. Satsuki Ina's letter to top officials at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services last December as the agency moved forward a proposal to license controversial family detention centers in an effort to keep them open.  We thought this was timely to repost because litigation brought by detained moms and Grassroots Leadership to prohibit the state from licensing family detention centers as childcare facilities may be decided later this month. Read more about Dr. Satsuki Ina: Licensing family detention as "childcare" harkens back to WWII-era euphisms

EXPOSED: 6 types of abuse reported by women from inside for-profit Laredo detention center, DHS still reviewing ties to private prisons

As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigates its use of private prisons, women currently and formerly detained in two CCA-operated immigrant detention centers in Texas are speaking out against abuses in the facilities. 

Their letters from inside are exposing grossly inadequate medical care and health conditions; unsanitary facilities; sickening food; verbal abuse & harsh, punitive treatment; re-traumatization of survivors of violence; interference with phone conversations. 

Translation: “Just like you want to support us, we too are willing to support ourselves and will not stay quiet about the abuse of our rights that we have been victims of.” Read more about EXPOSED: 6 types of abuse reported by women from inside for-profit Laredo detention center, DHS still reviewing ties to private prisons

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