While One Comes Home, Thousands Suffer, Says True North After Claudia Portillo Released From ICE Detention

Claudia Portillo

Claudia Portillo second from the left surrounded by friends and family. [Photo from her GoFundMe page]

Press release from True North:

Our True North Network experienced victory on Monday. Claudia Portillo, an undocumented Arcata mother of four who has been in ICE Detention in Bakersfield for the past seven months, was granted release on bond.

This came at the end of just over a week of the North Coast community encountering, understanding and being moved by Claudia’s story and her struggle. Residents met her family and close friends at our Encounter event in Arcata on June 10th, and they had the chance to meet Claudia herself via video from the Mesa Verde Detention Center. Just two days later, Claudia’s case moved quickly and she was scheduled for a bond hearing on Monday, June 18th.

With less than a week to prepare, our network organized to be at her hearing in San Francisco. Our community stepped up and raised almost $20,000 toward her bond and her travel back to her home. A local small business, Los Bagels, agreed to donate food for our journey, and volunteers came forward to drive vans loaded with North Coast residents determined to bring Claudia home.

On Monday at 1:42 PM, the judge granted Claudia’s release from detention on a $12,000 bond. As Claudia’s family left the courthouse and shared the good news with Bay Area press, Claudia’s sister, Jenny Ventura, told reporters: “I’m so happy, but I’m going to keep fighting. This is just one case out of so many.”

Since execution of the Administration’s new Zero Tolerance policy was ordered in April, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents at the US-Mexican border and held in jail-like conditions. Additionally, over the past year, the amount of migrant children that the United States has taken into government custody has reached nearly 11,000. The inconvenient truth is that our nation has a long and sordid history of breaking up families: during slavery children were taken and divided from their parents; Native American children were taken by the government and could be sent thousands of miles from their homes. Unfortunately, we are turning another chapter in a long line of immoral and unjust policies that separate and destroy marginalized families.

The President has rescinded his action with a new Executive Order, but that only delays this inhumane situation: A family will remain together in custody until outcome of their court case, and then the children can be divided from their parents. It also asserts an intention to detain families indefinitely, in opposition to current judicial precedent.

The horror stories coming from the current mass detention taking place at our border are numerous: parents have had to listen to their children sobbing and screaming in the next room; one Honduran man committed suicide after his three-year-old was taken from him; children have been kept in what Oregon senator Jeff Merkley described as a “dog kennel”; a woman was told by an agent: “You will never see your children again. Families don’t exist here. You won’t have a family any more.”

Our network has witnessed the pain that a family experiences when a daughter, sister, mother, cousin, aunt and friend is jailed and separated from those who love her. Through our relationships with Claudia and her family, we empathize deeply with the pain of isolation and the cruelty of immigration detention. We opened our hearts and put our boots on the ground for Claudia, and this time we were able to help bring a loved one home. We need to do the same for other families who are being ripped apart by the broken immigration system and callous government officials.

While Claudia will likely be home with her family by the end of this week, thousands of children and parents will remain separated, alone and afraid. The whereabouts of their loved ones will remain unknown. As an organization dedicated to advancing immigrant rights, we will continue our fight for them. Now is the time for all people of goodwill and a thirst for justice in our North Coast Community to stand up and join us in this fight!

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64 comments

  • Build that wall.

  • Don’t like it? Try immigrating legally. I whole heartedly stand with the President on border policy. Just should have enforced zero tolerance years of not decades ago

  • In my opinion we are not near harsh enough Imagine illegal entry into North Korea for example. How do you think that would play out bringing heroine, crime, social drain?

    • So you want our country to behave like a dictatorship? Thanks, the dead veterans in my family, must be rolling over in their graves.

  • How do other countries handle illegal immigrants?

    What would an ideal policy look like?

  • I don’t like Trump. I don’t like breaking up of families and pulling children away from their parents. But…what do you think is the solution? Does having compassion mean we must not pay attention to our border and we need to let whoever wants to come up into our country?!! The bleeding hearts are twisting every illegal immigration act into being similar to legal immigration. It is not. They want to bring up the terrible historical abuses committed against Native Americans. This is not the same. Is everybody so emotional about this issue that they have lost their reasoning?! I do not want illegal immigrants flooding the USA. Does that make me a terrible person? Or a fan of Trump? No. It does not and I am not. I’d like to see some comments that are reasonable and logical and balanced and informative. It’s a big problem but we all want to ignore solutions because we’d rather mislead and falsify the narrative to fit our own viewpoint. Sad and unproductive!

  • Try expressing understanding of what mass illegal immigration does the the native population. So far it’s all what immigrants need and want. Why would anyone demand that immigrants have virtually unrestricted border crossings if that means the people they are alleging to be seeking refuge from are coming too? Why not stop in Mexico if safety is being sought? Why come only to complain and criticize? Why not express admiration for the culture that made what what is being sought?

    Most of all, why come if all you can say is how racist, greedy and evil Americans are? Crowd in, living as cheaply as possible, ignoring laws and complain about being there? Raise children whose life seems to be expecting instantly what they think other Americans have then crying racist because they haven’t what others took generations to acquire?

    • There are those who are like this. But there are others who are hard-working decent people hoping for a better life for their children. That’s the conundrum. You can see the people you want to see and then assume they are all the same. But they aren’t- either all good or all bad. And that is where we can easily become polarized and extreme. But either extreme view will not help us find a reasonable solution. There will always be suffering but we need to resolve the situation.

      • You can’t screen people who break in. And frankly judging how “good” someone is not something government can do effectively. But stopping trying leads to never stopping bad, in fact awful, people from entering.

        So relying on the law is the best tool we have. No law doesn’t bear thinking on. So circumventing the law enmass is always going to lead to disruption and danger. Frankly if the most wonderful people came to your house to stay without your agreement, bad things happen anyway.

    • Have you asked Native Americans what they think about immigrants? They will tell you these people are also indigenous and they are their people.
      “-Those crossing that border, they Indigenous.
      -Those babies and children being taken by US officials, they Indigenous.
      -Those fleeing their homelands because of state-sponsored terror, they Indigenous.
      -Those coerced to travel north because they need to feed/protect/support their families, they Indigenous.

      They are my people, no matter the distance.
      They are my people, no matter the language.
      They are my people.
      They are my people.”
      -Dallas Goldtooth

  • It’s not our moral duty to care for the needy of another nation. It is our moral duty to care for the American poor, the American working class, not the immigrant workers that comes here “ to search for a better life for their children” at the expense of ours and our standard of living, all the while sending millions of dollars in remittances out of our country, and back to theirs, every year.
    The privileged progressives and leftist Christians of our country have forgotten what it means to fight for survival, so they just cede their society to people(immigrants) who do..
    It’s a foolish emotional descision that privileged people make in their waning years of decadence. They’ve forgotten to think seven generations into the future..
    all of a sudden, children are sacred, but when it’s in the womb, then it’s a fetus.. and doesn’t matter, right(to choose)?
    Progressive emotionalism and tolerance deserves the homelessness and drug addiction and crime that it coddles.
    True believers must quitclaim their property titles to the next homeless bum they see if they care so much.
    Find a way to trade places with the refugees if your such a Christ posuer.
    The corporations love progressives, they don’t even have to pay you, but you do the bidding of global empire, which requires a borderless, fluctuating workforce with low standards.
    Thanks alot baby boomers

  • We need detention centers that are capable of housing families and an army of judges stationed near the border. That way , we can provided expedited trials and rapidly deport. If a person illegally enters via Mexico, they are the Mexico’s responsibly, regardless of their national origin.

    • just send them all back home together

    • The trouble with going there is that anything that does expedite deporting will always be subject to stays and legal challenges. They come from the idea some very loud voices have that any success in that is actually wrong and must be stopped. And the ways of doing that are infinite.

  • Back up the boat

    What is going to happen to the detained children if their parents or family can’t be found? How much is it costing us to house all these children? This does not seem well thought out at all. Incredibly stupid and irresponsible of our government to do this. I think this is all a manipulation and tactic by Trump the Chump to get his wall built.

    • Actually Obama was the creator of this policy. When it didn’t work, he simply pretended that enforcing the law had been done while he de facto eliminated doing it. But if you want to say that Obama was ” Incredibly stupid and irresponsible” and manipulative, that’s appropriate. And Congress cowardly. The press pandering. And the public turning a blind eye too. More than enough blame to go around.

  • … and another one is on trial for kidnapping and shooting a cop in Ferndale

  • So so ready for this wall being built. Ready and willing to pay whatever taxes are necessary to get this done. FU MS13, and all the heroine that is brought to beautiful community. If you haven’t noticed in the last year almost every bust of the dreaded H is related to Mexican nationals.

    • MS13 is the El Salvadorian gang that most of people are fleeing, and they aren’t the source of heroin.

      • Yeah i doubt ms 13 sells hard drugs

        • wiki says they specialize in extreme violence and are often hired by the Mexican drug cartels to perform said specialty. hard drugs are sold everywhere by every race. if meth stops coming from mexico, the bikers in the central valley will start mass producing the off-white stuff again. it makes my head twitch just thinking about that stuff.

      • yep your right we should continue to build this country on Wiki.

  • and they call the summer solstice a conspiracy theory. smdh

  • Don’t really know the story but sounds like Ms Portillo entered illegally. Please deport her and let her try legal immigration. Hope ICE rounds up every illegal and deports them too

  • We will have to either limit any form of immigration or drastically reduced our public assistance programs, all forms of immigrants legal or not use more Public Assistance programs then native-born American’s, don’t get me wrong there are plenty of native born citizens that abuse these assistance programs as well. We also need to reduce spending to other countries and quit trying to police the entire world. This country is already 22 trillion dollars in debt and climbing fast, we cannot afford to house, feed and provide free medical care to the entire planet.

    https://cis.org/Heavy-Welfare-Use-Legal-Immigrants-Yes-Legal-Immigrants

    http://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2018/jan/29/steve-cortes/are-55-percent-immigrants-california-welfare-s-exa/

    https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/policy-basics-where-do-our-federal-tax-dollars-go

  • Ms. Portillo, as an eight year old, decided to come to the US. Brought her parents with her.

    Really, you guys? I know, they’re taking the jobs that you don’t want to do . . .

    The US immigration laws are jacked up. Fix those, please.

  • Gentleman and Scholar

    Why is this website simply posting propaganda from a socialist organization? It is completely biased. Not information but subjective opinion. This is not journalism in any way. I am a journalist. I know the difference. At least an appearance of basic newswriting ethics would be appreciated. Otherwise, stop the “local news” and “on the street” and “crime” reporting. It is so hypocritical to pretend to be a news site and just provide one slanted point of view. No opposing opinion. Embarrassing.

    • This is not pretending to be a journalistic piece. It’s a press release and it clearly states that. I’m a one woman site for the most part and I post press releases from law enforcement, government agencies, and all sorts of other groups that speak about something that I think my readers will be interested in. I only have so much time to write pieces and I think most of my readers are able to discern a press release especially when not only are they labeled BUT they are also posted in yellow with a green stripe down the left side to differentiate them from reporting and journalism which appear on a white background. I also post clearly labeled letters to the editor and editorials as do most newspapers.

      Should you wish to present an opposing view I provide a space for that. My email is mskymkemp@gmail.com.

      • So any private group can have their press releases published here? Or only the one you personally think are “interesting?” I didn’t think this biased lobby group, busy patting themselves on their backs while creating another opportunity to spin their agenda, was interesting. It was exactly what I thought they would say given any opportunity.

        The comments are many and excited for the same reason that any hostile rally creates excitement- they are offensive, meaning to be offensive and rely on the media’s cooperation in making their offensiveness public; the public who would rather they not have to face them down every single time they want to make noise. Waving the magic wand of sympathy over the nature of the abusers does not mean that this group is not just thuggish.

        • Most groups do get their press releases published. And, yep, I get to decide if I don’t think what they say is of interest.

          • You find propaganda to be of interest?

            You also mentioned in another post on a planet not so far far away, that you post what you think your readers find of interest.
            Yet you spend most of your time arguing your viewpoints over theirs.
            Confusing.

            • If you think the time I spend in the comment section constitutes most of my time, you have a very favorable opinion of how quickly I can gather information and write stories.

          • It wasn’t news. It was an add.

      • Thank for the article Mrs. Kemp. Thanks for keeping you site open to all opinions, even though there’s a few I could do without. Yet, shuting down, opposite my opinion would no longer be a democracy but a socialist state or dictatorship! I think I prefer Democracy, even though that last opinion left ringing in my ears. Long live the freedom of Democracy!

        • Want to vote on this?

          • Sure, you’ll lose like the, No’s on measure F. There’s more love vs hate! I’ll take that bet or vote anyday, cause I still believe in Democracy, unlike you opinion!

            • Ok Kym want to set up a poll where there is only one vote per person as to whether “love” means that there can be no restriction on immigration; anyone enters at will or “love” means protecting the native population from competition where employers have access to unlimited supplies of cheap wages?

              Or conversely whether “hate” means subjecting people to endless competition over which they have no control and are in fact required to pay taxes to expedit such competitors or “hate” is demanding that this not happen?

              Oh the utter joy of slapping spin faster by emotional extortion.

              • Preach that to the Native Americans here, long before my or your ancestors! Empathy saves lives vs dividing resentment!

                • What happen to the indigenous population is by far the best argument for not allowing unrestricted immigration. Those immigrants too were in large part coming for economic advantage and seeking safety from persecution.

                • Then clean out your ears, cause there’s hundreds of reasons, they run and flee their countries, for Asylum. [edit]

              • As long as the gullible are still under the past admin’s usage of quatrain hypnosis, the worship will never end.
                With that said, I’ll cross my fingers for a decent poll.

        • Freedom of Democracy? That’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one. Do you know what Democracy means? Do you even know what freedom means?
          The Republic gives us liberty.
          Democracy enslaves.

          • Man-o-Mangoberry, that must sure taste good!
            Its not a oxymoron, but maybe your comment is, your taking it out of context, for you own advantage. Our freedom of speech, exists thru the functions of our democracy. Nice try though!

            • mmm, not quite.
              Our rights exist because we the people created the constitution that limits the govt(s). (including city, county, state and central).
              The Bill of Rights is an example list of rights, with the 9th amendment declaring that not all the rights were listed due to the impossibility of it’s task.
              The only time we use a ‘democratic’ function, is when for voting. The ballots are supposed to only contain issues that are constitutional. If it’s not constitutional, it doesn’t belong on the ballot. People’s rights are excluded from ballots because it’s unconstitutional to vote for ruling over other people.
              Nowhere does the constitution say anything whatsoever about a democracy.
              We are not a democracy and the functions of freedom of speech exist with or without the consent of others.
              Rights are natural born, God given. The constitution does not give us our rights, it instead s e c u r e s our rights.

              • thank you for educating ppl that we are not a democracy but a republic that is represented by elected officials, not mob rule

                • You’re welcome. Do continue on with your thoughts though, and define what ‘represented by elected officials’ means.
                  Does that mean that we are mandated to follow whatever they demand we follow, or are they supposed to first obey and respect the Constitution and only legislate that which is constitutional for them to legislate?
                  What does the term “promote” mean? Does that mean the reps can mandate that the people submit to whatever it is they promote and legislate, or does it mean they are free to use their podium to encourage and inspire the people to rise up and take care of issues the reps have been made aware of due to the concerns of the people?
                  Does that mean the people can be forced into taking care care of any issue the reps find issue with and decides a solution for or does it mean the people are free to create solutions on their own and follow suit in their own way?

            • A democracy is a mob rule. If two or more people vote to take your bike, they take your bike. That is a democracy. 2-1.
              A Republic is under the rule of it’s constitution. Our constitution forbids a democracy form of govt.
              A Republic forbids others from voting to take your bike.
              It’s up to the people to know the difference and to know their rights so they can protect them.
              It’s up to the officials to defend and obey our constitution that s e c u r e s our rights.
              In a nutshell, we are a Constitutional Republic that uses the democratic process to vote ONLY on Constitutional issues/subjects.

            • Freedom of speech is a perfect example in today’s world.
              Our constitutional republic secures our right to freedom of speech.
              The mob ruled democracy tries to bully and threaten others out of speaking.
              A constitutional republic patriot is anyone obeying the constitution with the wave length that s/he might not agree with what is being said, but s/he will defend to the death your right to say it. American values.
              A non-patriot is anyone using the unconstitutional democracy form of wave length that might not agree with what is being said and will threaten and assault anyone who is saying it. Other than American values.

              Every man is the king of his or her castle/home. If the king of the castle says no cussing, then all the others must respect that or leave. The others do not have the power of authority to use a democracy rule vote over him. They, however, have the power to allow all the cussing they want in their own castles. They can not force others to cuss in their castle, but they can indeed allow it.

              • Just cause you say its peanut butter & jelly, doesn’t mean its not spam!

                • Throwing out nasty remarks is not the same as being right. Or earns anyone’s respect. Shak is right that the Second Amendment was to give individuals rights, including freedom of speech, to protect them against mob democracy. It is a function of a republic. Democracy follows emotions and lynches, republics are meant to limit their ability to do that until they regain their senses.

                • Guest is correct, except.. oh boy, here I go again, but I can’t let it go!…
                  Except, the BOR does not g i v e us anything. It s e c u r e s our everything.

  • There are 8 USA consulates in Mexico and 1 in Baja, Calif. There is 1 USA Embassy in Nogales, Sonora.
    This website includes the addresses and phone/fax numbers, for those interested in living freely in America. https://mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/

    Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
    Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico
    Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
    Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
    Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico
    Col. Alcala Martin Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
    Santa Catarina, Nuevo León, México
    Nogales, Sonora
    Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
    Tijuana, Baja California

    They handle the Visa’s and all the important info and documents needed for liberty in America.

    The main site in Spanish https://mx.usembassy.gov/es/

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