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June 11th, 2020

Puente fights for migrant rights in Arizona

topic:Immigration
type:Donation, NGO, Volunteering
by:Yair Oded

As the fight against police brutality and systemic racism in the U.S. and across the globe gains steam, increased attention has been paid to the issue of immigration.

Over the past few decades, stringent policies and increased powers at the hand of the Department of Homeland Security have molded an immigration enforcement system that regularly intimidates and abuses migrants and immigrants. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is particularly notorious for hunting down migrants, detaining them under inhumane conditions, and executing their deportation. 

The vast majority of migrants and immigrants targeted are brown and black. 

In Arizona, a southern state that shares a border with Mexico and is home to a large immigrant community, the situation is particularly dire. Immigration detention facilities are poorly run - and now during COVID-19 have become hotbeds of the virus. Furthermore, local police departments collaborate closely with ICE, and have constructed a notorious arrest-to-deportation mechanism.

The Puente Human Rights Movement is a grassroots, non-profit NGO working for migrant justice in Arizona. 

Based in Phoenix, the state capital, Puente works to educate and empower migrant communities and protect them and their families from harm. It operates based on what it calls a ‘closed fist, open hand strategy’, signifying its active resistance to wanton immigration enforcement (racial profiling, criminalisation of migrants, arrest, detention, and deportation), while creatively strengthening and uplifting migrant communities, thus countering the government’s attempt at making their life unlivable. 

Puente organises a wide range of community activities and art projects and carries out expansive campaigns to educate communities and end deportation and detention of migrants in Arizona.

Please visit Puente’s website to learn more about its work, inquire about volunteer opportunities, access information you can share on Social Media, or pledge a donation

Click here to access Puente’s Know Your Rights information kit for immigrants, or here for their resources about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

Image: Puente Movement

puenteaz.org