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Feb-27-2014 10:53printcomments

Undocumented Oregonians Take Great Risks to Return Home

Maria Angela Zapoteco Juárez plans to return to her family in Oregon this March through Bring Them Home.

Maria Angela Zapoteco Juárez of Portland, Oregon
Maria Angela Zapoteco Juárez of Portland, Oregon

(PORTLAND, OR) - Between March 10th and 12th, 150 undocumented mothers, fathers, children, and students will cross into the United States from Mexico as a part of the Bring Them Home project. They will cross at the San Ysidro point of entry on 720 East San Ysidro Blvd, San Ysidro, CA 92173. They are risking an unknown length of detention and possible permanent deportation to reunite with their family members living in the United States. With record numbers of deportations in the last six years, these undocumented people are taking an unprecedented action to bring families and communities back together across borders.

Bring Them Home is a cross-border response to the crisis of mass deportations in the United States. The project was initiated in July 2013 when the Dream 9, a group of undocumented youth who had been deported, pioneered a bold new tactic to return to their homes in the US. They crossed the US-Mexico border into Arizona and voluntarily turned themselves into Border Patrol. Typically, this would result in immediate deportation. However, because of mobilization by their families in their home states and a huge outpouring of community support, the Dream 9 were released to their families in the United States after just two weeks in detention.

Now, Bring Them Home is mobilizing their largest action yet. Primarily led by US immigrant families and those deported from the United States, the upcoming action is supported by a network of DREAM activists (DREAMers), community allies, faith groups, and immigrant rights organizations. “The goal of this action is to reunite 250 family members. The immigration system isn’t working. Borders have broken our families and communities. We will not wait for the government to tell us when we can reunite with our loved ones that have been deported. We are taking matters into our own hands,” says Liliana Luna, an undocumented DREAMer leading the effort to Bring Them Home to Oregon.

Maria Angela Zapoteco Juárez of Portland, Oregon, who was deported from the United States in 2006, plans to return to her family in Oregon this March through Bring Them Home.

Jaime Guzman, an organizer with Bring Them Home Oregon and family member of Maria Angela Zapoteca Juarez, says, “At its heart we are talking about humanity and how we are treating each other. We believe all of the 2 million men, women, and children who have been deported since President Obama took office deserve to come home. We are doing this for all people who have been deported.”

Follow BringThemHome on Twitter at: @ORDreamActivist and on Facebook at:

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Biography for the Oregon participant of Bring Them Home:

Maria Angela Zapoteco Juárez and her two children came to the United States in July of 1990 to reunite with her husband. She worked as a teaching assistant, daycare provider, and housekeeper in order to provide for her family. She was swept up into deportation proceedings in 2006. After fighting her case for two years and experiencing legal fraud, she was pressured to sign a voluntary departure.

Both in the United States and Mexico, she has experienced violence at the hands of her husband. She has been forced into hiding in Mexico out of fear for her life. It has been six years since she has seen her daughters and granddaughters in Oregon. She wants to return to her family in Oregon to meet her newborn granddaughter and find safety away from her violent husband.



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Jimmy February 28, 2014 8:35 am (Pacific time)

And why should folks who are legally waiting to enter this country let these folks essentially "cut in line"?

Because they only let the rich ones in and because this country is why Mexico is so bad off, try examining your own country's racist past.

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