Nonprofit group fights for rights of migrants

As immigration remains one of the top topics across the United States and talks of possible raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement have migrants on alert, a non-profit group assisting migrants is using technology to help them.

United We Dream — a nonprofit group — has established the United We Dream Mobil app, “Notifica,” which provides migrants with the opportunity to quickly connect with their family, friends and lawyers, and alert them of issues or emergencies stemming from interactions with local law enforcement authorities. To load this app, Text: 877877.

There is also a “MigraWatch” Hotline that community members can call in to mobilize and push back against ICE and CBP in order to report immigration enforcement activity, including raids. That number is (844) 363-1423.

United We Dream Co-Founder Julieta Garbay, currently director of UWD Texas, was initially an undocumented immigrant, as well as one among thousands of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Recipients (DACA), who felt that she and her colleagues needed to provide support, as well as a “safe space,” for Hispanic youths.

Through United We Dream’s Mobile app “Our members, our youth, certainly relate to what’s happening,” Garbay said. “Many of us are from families with first-hand experience of what it’s like to migrate — why it happens.”

Among United We Dream’s stated goals is building cutting-edge technology systems, stopping deportations, clearing pathways to education, organizing “in the streets,” and creating alliances across movements.

Approximately one in four people living in this country is either foreign-born or the child of immigrants.

“All you have to do is look at the current climate directly constructed by the (President Donald) Trump administration,” Garbay said. “Our status as DACA recipients may no longer be fully-protected,” Garbay said.

United We Dream also continues to work in partnership with other activist non-profits including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and locally, La Union Del Pueblo Entero, (LUPE), in San Benito.

“We want people to know that they are not alone, and we will continue to expand our resources in order to give our youth the resources and knowledge they need, and the power to organize,” Garbay said.

“A large part of the perception we work to overcome is to try and convince the public that immigrants are wholly, fully human beings,” Garbay said. “UWD youth are provided with the knowledge of their rights, and how to take charge.”

The United We Dream website, which also includes immigration-related reports, as well as many “how-to” videos and fliers, can be found at: https://unitedwedream.org/

In the Rio Grande Valley, to contact LUPE visit: https://lupenet.org/

sgroves@brownsvilleherald.com