Genoveva is a wife, mother, and grandmother originally from Mexico who has lived in the United States for over twenty years. After two decades in the US, she was pulled over by a police officer in Warren, I IL for not using a turning light signal. She was subsequently sent to ICE who ordered her to be deported.
Genoveva and her family immediately jumped into action to make sure that she remained in the country. They were able to garner support from elected officials, and other immigrant rights organizations that made calls, signed petitions, and attended press conferences. All of this support culminated in Genoveva receiving a stay of deportation in 2013.
Since then, Genoveva had been renewing her permit to stay with no issue until 2017, when she was asked to appear for an ICE check-in. Despite being accompanied by multiple elected officials and countless community members, Genoveva was denied a stay of deportation and given a date by when to leave the country. This was devastating and a clear indication as to how things were going to change under the Trump administration.
In response to ICE’s insistence on separating Genoveva from her family and community, in September of 2017, a lawsuit was filed on her behalf against the Department of Homeland Security. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, demanded that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a sub-agency, to review her pending U visa application before ICE removed her from the country.
With pressure in the courts and from community, USCIS approved Genoveva’s U visa. Together with her family, the West Suburban Action Project, the National Immigrant Justice Center, Service Employees International Union Local 1, OCAD was able to ensure that Genoveva stayed in the country. We believe she was targeted for her activism and this was a way to show that we will not be silent.
Este taller de criminalización es un recurso preparado por Comunidades Organizadas contra las Deportaciones (OCAD) y el Centro para la Nueva Comunidad (CNC). La clave para luchar contra el sentimiento anti-inmigrante es comprender que no se trata de delincuencia, sino de la criminalización.
We advocate for the elimination of the use of detention centers and deportations, surveillance mechanisms, and “reforms” that exclude the most criminalized amongst us. One way we are doing this is by advocating for the elimination of the City of Chicago’s gang database.
Wilmer Catalan had been residing in the US for over 10 years and, in March of 2017, ICE agents unlawfully entered his home without a criminal warrant or consent. ICE had conducted a raid based on false information obtained from the Chicago Police Department indicating Wilmer belonged to a street gang.