Detention, Determination and New Organizing Behind Bars

Detention, Determination and New Organizing Behind Bars

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Jul. 17 7:30 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Jul. 17 8:45 PM (Eastern)

Hunger strikes and challenges to individual cases of abuse have exposed the harsh conditions inside for-profit detention centers and galvanized organizing in the migrant rights movement on the outside. Former detainees and supporters will share strategies for organizing in the hardest scenarios, facing solitary confinement and winning concessions as part of broader efforts for rights and recognition on both sides of the walls. The panel is an opportunity to learn about the factors leading to the explosion of migrant detention in recent years and the movement to reverse the trend from those who have been targeted by and lived through it.


Maru Mora Villalpando


Maru Mora Villalpando is a community organizer, political analyst, consultant, trainer with more than ten years of experience, focusing on immigrant and racial justice.
Maru has conducted numerous trainings throughout the Northwest, from basic community organizing, legislative process, media for community organizing, immigration enforcement, and more.
Maru organized successfully to defeat anti-immigrant bills in Washington State. She helped push for farmworker rights at Sakuma Farms and the current boycott, is currently organizing in the aftermath of the 2014 hunger strikes at Tacoma Detention Center, which has had a rippling effect to the rest of the nation.
She is a regular political analyst guest on radio and TV across the nation, and serves in the Blue Ribbon Commission of the undocumented and former undocumented, and is part of the Not1More deportation campaign.
Maru is a single mother raising a mature, critical thinker teenage girl who appeared with her on Democracy Now!

my website


Miguel Armenta


Miguel Armenta is a gay undocumented activist, he was detained for 9 months in the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA.

He was detained by Customs and Border Patrol while taking a bus from Bellingham to Seattle, and as soon as he arrived at NWDC joined the largest hunger strike ever in such facility. He helped organized two more hunger strikes and was finally released in December 2014. Miguel joined the leadership of the NWDC Resistance, grassroots group fighting to end detentions and deportations across the nation.