Immigrant Youth Activist Detained After Leading Campaign to Stop Mother’s Deportation

This is a May 18 media release from the Immigrant Youth Coalition:

Los Angeles, CA – Early this morning, Border Patrol conducted a raid in Boyle Heights, kidnapping beloved organizer Claudia Rueda outside her home. Tonight, community supporters are rallying outside of the Border Patrol offices in Chula Vista where Claudia is being detained, demanding her release and protesting Border Patrol actions.

Claudia’s friends and supporters are also frantically mobilizing phone calls to the Border Patrol.

Claudia is an immigrant rights organizer with the Los Angeles Immigrant Youth Coalition and student at Cal State Los Angeles. Claudia most recently lead a campaign to free her mom, Teresa, from ICE detention after Border Patrol agents similarly kidnapped Teresa from their home. The timing of Claudia’s detention, just days after she secured her mother’s release on bond, raises the troubling specter of retaliation.

When the officials showed up this morning, residents at the house knew not to open the door since the agents couldn’t produce a warrant. But the agents got to Claudia anyway as she was outside moving the family’s car. For several hours her anguished family and community had no idea where she was. The Border Patrol is making utterly false statements about Claudia in an effort to demonize her.

Claudia has lived in the US nearly her entire life, she has been here since 2001. She participated in college-prep programs, was a student at UC Santa Cruz, and transferred to Cal State LA where she is currently studying Latin American Studies and has the support of many professors and campus organizations.Claudia has been preparing for apply for DACA but had been unable to gather the money for the filing fees.

Claudia’s best friend states: “Claudia is an extremely supportive, empowering, and determined friend. All throughout high school, she encouraged students to continue their studies in higher education, becoming involved in afterschool programs like ESCALERA. Throughout our college career, she has continuously supported me, offered her home, and her wisdom to continue being a hardworking student and following our passions.”

Border Patrol not only took Claudia but also starting knocking on other doors in the neighborhood and took a neighbor. Community organizations denounce border patrol presence and any operations in Los Angeles County which keep causing harm and trauma to the community.

Community organizations and Claudia’s attorney are demanding border patrol release her and allow her to file her DACA application with USCIS instead of filing a Notice to Appear with the Immigration Court.

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Here is what else we know as of May 19, 10:45amET:

Border Patrol sent the following May 18 statement to Laist:

This morning, U.S. Border Patrol agents conducted enforcement actions in Los Angeles, Calif., targeting multiple individuals at numerous locations. This enforcement action resulted from a criminal investigation of a cross-border narcotics smuggling organization. The Border Patrol targeted individuals who are associated with that organization. Agents arrested these individuals for federal immigration violations. The U.S. Border Patrol is committed to enhancing the safety of communities by disrupting and dismantling criminal organizations engaged in illicit cross-border smuggling.

This is the statement Cal State LA shared on May 18:

Meanwhile, the #FreeClaudia hashtag is providing additional updates:

The Immigration Youth Coalition is also providing updates on their Facebook page:

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