Category Archives: Immigrant Detention Working Group

This Thursday: Reportback on Resistance Movements in Arizona

This Thursday (Feb. 24) from 5-7pm in the UC San Jacinto Room, Houston activist RoB will be reporting back on his experiences joining the protesters and organizers resisting the implementation of SB 1070 in AZ. The controversial bill SB 1070 has caused outrage for encouraging racial profiling, excessively targeting non-criminal immigrants, being harmful to immigrant and minority communities and giving local police the responsibility to enforce federal immigration policies. Not only is this …law inherently racist, it hurts all of Arizona’s residents by increasing police budgets, increasing funding for private prisons, and changing the priorities of police to target non-violent minorities rather than violent criminals.

A large resistance movement has formed in response to these racist policies and Rob will be sharing stories about what people are doing to resist.

This event is especially important right now due to the copy-cat legislation being proposed by the far right in our own state of Texas. Educated people need to unite against these attacks on minorities and migrants to build safer communities and to oppose racist and xenophobic agendas. Let’s stop Texas from being the next Arizona!

On current laws being proposed:

On shifting federal immigration responsibilities to local police:

Contact SDS at or call Marie at 832-474-5536 for questions or directions.

Reportback from Arizona resistance movements

From Arizona to Texas, fighting back for immigrant rights

Several activists who traveled to Arizona this summer to protest the implementation of the racist SB1070 will be there to share …their experiences and answer questions about the movement of resistance to SB1070 and increasing xenophobia and racism in Arizona.

On November 30th at 6pm in the University Center(UC)- Aegean room (rm 82 in the UC underground). Come be a part of the dialog around this law and hear about how what is happening to Arizona has implications for both Texas and the struggle against attacks on immigrants throughout the US. Facebook Event

Anti-immigrant legislation modeled on SB1070 and other Arizona bills has already been proposed by Texas Republicans for the upcoming legislative session. Read some of the proposed bills.

May First and May Fifth: hitting the streets for immigrant rights

Education, Not Deportation!

SDS at UH was able to mobilize a small number of students for UH to join the march of more than 6,000 people that took to the streets to celebrate mayday and demand immigrant rights, worker rights and comprehensive immigration reform. We participated and lead chants including “Education, Not Deportation”, and “Helado Si! Migra No!” (Ice Cream, Yes! Border Patrol, No!) On Thursday we screened Despierta Gigante! Giant Awake! as part of an effort to get UH students thinking about the immigrant rights movement.

SDS Supporting the Struggle for Immigrant Rights

The strong turn out this year’s Mayday march is certainly influenced by the repressive and racist SB1070 legislation that was passed in Arizona, and reawakened immigrant rights activism across the country that has not been seen since the mass mobilizations in 2006 against HR4437. We are excited about the end of our semester and looking forward to pushing for immigrant rights over the summer and in the upcoming semester. [More photos on Houston Indymedia | Houston Indymedia feature | Houston Chronicle | UH’s El Gato]

Helping cops with how to enforce SB1070

On May 5th, SDS participated in a protest of the Diamondback’s Astros baseball game that took place downtown in Minutemaid Park. As part of the national call to Boycott Arizona, the Arizona Diamondbacks coming to Houston was to important to miss, finals be damned! The owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks has been a longtime fundraiser for the Arizona republican party and continues to use the Diamondbacks to economically support the legislators who passes the SB1070 legislation. The protest was covered by The Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Associated Press story about the protest was picked up in many outlets, including ESPN.

No to SB1070. White Backs go home!

No to SB1070. White Backs go Home!

Eric of the FIRE Collective also took some great photos and wrote up a critical piece about the protest and where the movement to stop SB1070 might go from here.

Gearing up for May 1st Immigrant Rights March

UH SDS is hosting a filmscreening of ¬°Gigante Despierta! Giant Awake! on Thursday April 29th to build support for the May 1st March for Dignity and Respect for All

Flier for Film and March for May 1st

In 2006, a historic mobilization for immigrant rights swept the USA as millions took the streets. Mainstream news media predictably covered the marches with a mix of surprise, ignorance, and racism, yet grassroots media activists were there to document the voices and the stories behind this mass movement.

Gigante Despierta is a grassroots collaboration of journalists and media activists across the country who documented the massive groundswell of activism from immigrant communities and their allies and the dozens of protests that took place across the country on May 1st of 2006, international workers day.

It is a collective memory and a tool to inspire action this MayDay 2010, when the Giant will raise its voice again to say: we are one people, without borders. We are here, and we are here to stay!


The need to stand up for immigrant rights at this time is extremely important as Arizona has just passed the Senate Bill 1070 [read the legislation] which makes law enforcement officers in that state responsible for trying to confirm people’s immigration status and arresting people who can not prove their American citizenship. This will create an apartheid society where police can stop people and ask for their paper based on their suspicion that they may be undocumented. SDS at UH has been organizing against the 287(g) program in Houston and Harris County and the racist nature of its expansion of police powers. What has happened in Arizona is much worse.

Youth and Students in Arizona have responded with walkouts and lockdowns and ask for people across the nation to commit non-violent civil disobedience to resist these police state powers. Below is a great short film made by Pan Left Productions about youth resistance to SB 1070:

The police state powers that are created by SB 1070 require police to racially profile and search out arrest people for the civil violation of being in the United States without proper documentation. If this goes into effect, Arizona will be an Apartheid state. Some are already calling for the use of Boycott, Divest and Sanctions as a strategy to fight this apartheid policy in Arizona. Our SDS chapter has done lots of organizing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in opposition to Israeli Apartheid and the parallels of what is happening in Arizona is too scary and frustrating for us to ignore.

We want to fight for a world without oppression, where no police or military force is needed to enforce any type racial seperation or restrict people’s freedom of movement. We hope to see you marching on May First, and in the struggle for immigrant rights and against apartheid and racism in the future!

Students from across Texas gather in Raymondville to protest Tent City detention center

Willacy County Processing Center AKA Tent City

Shut it Down!

On April 10th, SDS at the University of Houston joined student activists from the Social Justice Action Committee and the Palestine Solidarity Committee of UT Austin and the World Peace Alliance and Southwest Workers Union and representatives of the United Methodist Church of the Rio Grande Valley assembled in Raymondville to protest the Willacy County Processing Center, better know as Tent City. The 3,086-bed Willacy County Processing Center, a private prison operated by Utah-based Management and Training Corporation (MTC) and partially constructed of Kevlar tents, is the nation’s largest immigrant detention center.

Supporting the Struggle for Freedom of Movement

This action is part of the national Dignity not Detention campaign to resist the unchecked growth of the immigrant detention system.

Our protest was covered by the valley’s Channel 4 News:
Text Story | Video Story
More photos on Houston Indymedia

International day of the Migrant celebrated protesting Houston Processing Center

Happy Internernational Day of the Migrant!

Students for a Democratic Society and others picked the Houston Processing Center to protest the raids of Mambos restaurants and detaining 33 restaurant workers on suspected immigration violations, on Dec 2nd. The location of the Houston Processing Center is important, as the first private prison in the United States. Private companies operate dozens of detention centers for immigrants across the nation [map].

About 2 dozen protesters gathered on Greens Road and walked a picket line with chants about immigrant rights including; “What do we want? Immigrant Right! How do we get it? Melt the ICE!” “Immigrantes, Escucha, estamos en su lucha” “Immigration is not a crime, why are people doing time?” and “Ariba, Abajo, migra al carajo!” We had a powerful soundsystem that may very well have permeated the thick concrete walls of the detention center. People spoke and sang songs, we did interviews with television reporters, and we then marched to the other side of the facility.

Stop the Raids!

The south side of the facility is the visitor entrance, where during specified hours people can visit their loved ones locked up in the detention center. We sang and chanted more, and then called it a day and left. There was discussion of possibly making vigils at the detention center a monthly event, as well as discussion of upcoming work being done to support Comprehensive Immigration Reform, that may help fix the broken immigration system, which separates families and allows companies like the Corrections Corporation of America to profit off of human misery.

More Photos on Houston Indymedia

Report by Gloria in Workers World: Houston actions support immigrant workers

Dec 18th: Observe international day of the migrant

Stop the Raids!

What: Protest! Free the Mambo 31!
Date: Friday, December 18, 2009
Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm
Location: Houston Processing Center – 5520 Greens Road

This event is endorsed by: Students for a Democratic Society at UH, La Raza Justice Movement, International Action Center, CRECEN/America Para Tod@s, Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center,, Brother Jesse Blog,

International Migrants Day is an international day observed on December 18th as International Migrants Day appointed by the General Assembly of United Nations on 4 December 2000 taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world. On 18 December, 1990, the General Assembly adopted the international convention on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and members of their families.

This day is observed in many countries, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations through the dissemination of information on human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants, and through sharing of experiences and the design of actions to ensure the protection of migrants. [Background: United Nations | Wikipedia]

Facebook Event | Flier on Houston Indymedia as PDF