Women's Stories from Georgia

While we were in Georgia, the We Belong Delegation heard testimony from numerous women about how the concerted efforts by state and federal officials to criminalize, detain, and deport undocumented immigrants, including Georgia's new HB 87 law, has affected them and their families. The stories of these courageous women were moving, heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring, as they told not only of the abuses they have suffered but also of finding the strength to speak up for themselves, their families and their communities. We invite you to read these stories yourself:

  • Alicia A, whose one-year-old daughter has a serious medical condition requiring frequent hospital visits, but who is afraid to drive her daughter to the hospital because of experience with racial profiling;
  • Claudia, whose abusive and violent husband used the threat of deportation to control her, and whose worst fears became reality when law enforcement officials arrested and deported her, separating her from her son;
  • Alicia M. and her daughter Melanie, an 8-year-old citizen born to undocumented parents, whose fear that her parents may be deported prompted her to write a letter to the governor asking him not to sign HB87;
  • Gina, an undocumented college student who overcame numerous obstacles to pursue her dream of a college education;
  • Lourdes, the mother of four children, who has been unable to get health insurance for her family despite her husband having a steady job;
  • Delmy Palencia, a mother and civil rights activist from New Orleans, part of the delegation, who was detained and retaliated against by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for her civil rights activism;
  • Lupe, an activist from the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), who shared what has been happening in the community with the passage of HB 87; and
  • Aparna Bhattacharyya, the executive director of an organization serving the South Asian community in Georgia, who spoke about how victims of sexual assault who are undocumented are not able to bring charges against the perpetrators, and how advocates working with women feel helpless because they are afraid to send undocumented victims of abuse to the police.

We call on women everywhere to take the time to read and listen to these stories and to urge our nation’s leaders to end these inhumane policies that are tearing families apart. What is harmful to one is harmful to all. We pledge to stand alongside these women and state, “You are not alone. We Belong Together!”