about us

We are a movement against deportations
and the criminalization of our people.

OCAD stands for Organized Communities Against Deportations. We’re a group of undocumented, unapologetic, and unafraid organizers building a resistance movement against deportations and the criminalization of immigrants and people of color in Chicago and surrounding areas.

our mission

We’re on a mission to make sure that our people can thrive.

We defend our communities, challenge the institutions that target and dehumanize us, and build collective power through grassroots organizing and cross-movement building.  We fight alongside families and individuals challenging these systems to create an environment for our communities to work, organize, and thrive with happiness and without fear.

our vision

We see a future where we can live with dignity. 

We envision a future without displacement and borders, without incarceration, and without deportations. A future where people can choose to stay or migrate freely. A future where our bodies will not be commodified or exploited to fulfill quotas, to fill cages, or be used to generate profit.

We envision a future where we determine the use of resources to ensure our collective well-being. A future of liberation for indigenous people, immigrants, people of color, women, LGBTQ, black, and all oppressed individuals. A world of dignity and resistance, and a world ruled by systematic transformation, laughter, and love.

our values

We believe in our revolutionary vision of freedom.

We believe in the autonomy and self-determination of our people and the communities we work with.
We believe in collective knowledge, learning and healing.
We believe in our collective power because we - together - are what we need.
We believe in transparency and honesty to support the liberation of our people.
We believe we all must treat each other with love, dignity, and respect.
We believe in transformative justice.
We believe we all must walk together without leaving anyone behind.
We believe in the power of our endless imagination.
We believe in the people directly affected to lead us towards winning the fight against crime-migration.
We believe that giving up is not an option.
Our team

We are the people we’re fighting for.

OCAD emerged out of the fearless movement led by the young people of  the Immigrant Youth Justice League. It is in their spirit that we continue to center our work on undocumented people,  but now in a different iteration. 

OCAD is an intergenerational collective of individuals who come together to fight against deportations and criminalization. Many of us know first-hand what it is like to live as undocumented people in this country and have ourselves experienced the brutality of detentions and deportations. From 2012 to 2018, we functioned as a volunteer collective, composed of individuals who came together under the shared goal of wanting to see our people free. In 2018, we made the decision to hire our first full-time staff member and, since then, we have fundraised to ensure that we have a team of staff that can consistently carry out our work. 

While we now have dedicated staff, our decisions continue to be made collectively and there are many, many people involved in carrying out our work. 

Reyna Wences

Wences is one of OCAD’s co-founders and plays a key role in developing deportation defense strategies, organizing events, training programs, direct actions, and communications and media tactics. They are also the co-founder for the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) and an organizer recognized nationwide for their work related to anti-deportation campaigns in Chicago.

Antonio Gutierrez

Gutierrez oversees Strategic Development & Operations for OCAD by addressing structural needs and facilitating the organization’s sustainable growth. They became involved with the organization as part of the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL). Gutierrez has over 5 years of non-profit administration development, and is also a co-founder of the Albany Park Defense Network and the Autonomous Tenants Union.

Miguel Lopez

Lopez manages OCAD’s membership and leadership development, as well as artistic opportunities and graphic materials. He guides our work by developing projects that grow and establish a shared political understanding with our members and supporters.

Xanat Sobrevilla

Sobrevilla leads OCAD’s deportation defense work, coordinates legal intakes and appointments, manages the collaboration with the ICIRR hotline, and acts as a liaison with our network of attorneys. Her input on legal strategy continuously strengthens our organizing strategy and the integration of families with deportation proceedings into OCAD’s network.

Arianna Salgado

Salgado is OCAD’s appointed leader for collaborations with groups fighting against police violence and criminalization. Prior to joining OCAD, she was the founder of other undocumented-led groups in the suburbs of Chicago and a paralegal for the PASO-West Suburban Action Project.

Fernanda Castellanos

Castellanos leads OCAD Community Asambleas, events, and press conferences, and contributes to the base building of the organization and popular education for intergenerational audiences. She got involved with our community organizing efforts after her mom’s case (Genoveva).

Our Partners

We amplify our collective power through collaboration.

Our collective liberation requires that we develop an intersectional analysis of the crises impacting our communities. We would be nothing without the love and solidarity we share with our friends in the struggle. These organizations have pushed our analysis, challenged our work, and helped us grow into the organization we are today.

Partners in Struggle

Mijente
No Cop Academy
Assata’s Daughters
People’s Response Team
Arab American Action Network AAAN
Black Lives Matter Chicago
BYP 100
University of Chicago Church

Ally Organizations

HANA Center
Never Again
BYP100
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
BPNC
Albany Park Defense Network APDN
Autonomous Tenants Union ATU
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos
ICIRR
Beyond Legal Aid
PASO
Detention Watch Network DWN
Chicago Community and Workers Rights
Access Living
Just Futures Law Wilson Avenue Church
McArthur Justice Center

Universities /
Student Groups

Solorio’s Dream Team 
UIUC I-CAUSE 
Dominican University
NIU Dream Action

Foundations

Crossroads Fund
Woods Foundation
Open Society Foundation
Borealis Immigration Litigation Fund
Field Foundation of Chicago
Lush Charity
PotPolk Brothers Foundation
Public Welfare Foundation

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Undocumented.
Unapologetic.
Unafraid.