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Family of immigrant rights activist Erika Andiola raided by ICE

By Marisol Márquez

Tampa, FL – Around midnight Jan. 10, the home of well-known Arizona immigrant rights activist Erika Andiola was raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE agents asked Andiola who the other people in the home were. One of them was her mother. During the raid, Erika's brother, who had been staying at neighbors for the night, came over and was asked if he was related to the Andiolas. Both Erika's brother and mother are undocumented immigrants from Mexico and both have lived in the U.S. for many years. Shortly after the questions, ICE handcuffed and transported Erika's brother and mother to the Florence Detention Center.

Due to mass outrage, Andiola’s mother and brother have been released from custody Andiola’s mother had been placed on a bus to Mexico, when the bus driver received a phone call and made a U-turn. The bus driver then explained to Andiola’s mother that her daughter had successfully organized the entire country to stop her deportation.

Later, after Andiola’s brother was released, he reported that ICE showed him a large file they had on his sister. This is an attempt at intimidation.

For years, Erika Andiola has been taking a stand against the oppression visited upon her and millions of other immigrants. Andiola is known for her aggressive manner in confronting politicians. From Arizona Sheriff Arpaio to Mitt Romney, Erika Andiola has been there to directly ask, “Why continue immigrant oppression?”

Immigrant rights activists like Erika Andiola demonstrate how ICE and other repressive forces will not silence those who advocate for justice. In a country that does not recognize undocumented immigrants as – first and foremost – people, immigrant rights activists represent the demand for full legalization for all.

President Obama won his reelection in part due to his platform for changes to the current immigration laws. In 2012, under Obama's presidency, more than 400,000 immigrants were deported.

Activists and the immigrant population know President Obama will not push for what is truly needed: legalization for all. So it is up to us to continue with direct resistance. Stand up, fight back!

#TampaFL #deportations #ImmigrationAndCustomsEnforcementICE #ErikaAndiola