Immigrants Pack Courtroom Demanding Release of Domestic Violence Survivor and Asylum Seeker Facing Deportation

Contact: Blanca Vazquez (916)225-1664, Luis Angel Reyes Savalza, Pangea Legal Services (415)254-0475

2016.11.09 #FreeYazmin.jpg

What: Dozens of local  immigrant rights leaders  and advocates against domestic violence come together to support immigrant mother, Yazmin Elias, facing deportation with press conference in response to contentious presidential election where Trump is elected President.

When: Thursday November 10th at 11:30am

Where: Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Field Office, 630 Sansome Street. San Francisco, CA

Who: Yazmin Elias’ family, local immigrants rights leaders and advocates against domestic violence including Immigrant Youth Coalition, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, and Pangea Legal Services.

Visuals: Rally Participants will display poster images of Yazmin that read “#FreeYazmin” and banners displaying #FreeYazmin will be presented.

San Francisco, CA- Local immigrants rights activists vigorously rally against family separation and deportation after Trump is elected President, a man who has vowed to massively deport immigrants. Community advocates against domestic violence and immigrants rights leaders are also packing local immigration courtroom to show support for Yazmin Liliana Elias in her last bond hearing in immigration court. Yazmin is a single mother of three US citizen children and a domestic violence survivor. She has been in ICE custody for the past 9 months separated from her three children: Elijah-17, Isaiah-14 and Jeremiah- 13. who are suffering from depression, PTSD and ADHD. From a young age Yazmin endured constant physical violence, dating back to her childhood, and her prime coping mechanism to survive her trauma has been self-medication.

On August 2015, Yazmin was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol. Since then, Yazmin has completed a 3-month residential program where she learned to rehabilitate. Yazmin has began to break the cycle of violence, but instead of allowing her to rehabilitate, ICE has detained her and placed her in deportation proceedings. Yazmin is applying for asylum and a U visa which would enable her to truly recover from over 10 years of abuse; her current detention is re-traumatizing her and preventing her from recovering.

Yazmin exemplifies the ongoing criminalization of domestic violence survivors who need rehabilitation, not incarceration. Her current detention is a testament to the inflexibility of the immigration system to address the needs of those who have suffered emotional and physical abuse. Furthermore, her story is a prime example of the threat millions of immigrant communities have faced for years and the rise of Trump as president only entails the rise of  the power immigrant communities hold to continue resisting to exist.