Hunger Strike to End Immigrant Detention in Santa Ana

For Immediate Release // Excuse Cross-Posting
May 15, 2016

Hairo Cortes, OCIYU, 657.272.3475,
Roberto Herrera, DeColores Queer OC, 714.727.7627,

Immigrant and LGBTQ Leaders to Launch Hunger Strike, Demand
End to Immigrant Detention Contract between Santa Ana and ICE

Santa Ana, CA – Immigrant and LGBTQ Rights leaders will hold a press conference to launch a hunger strike to demand an end to the ICE jail contract in the city of Santa Ana, California on Monday, May 16 at 8:00 AM at Sasscer Park (507 West 4th Street Santa Ana, CA 9270).

Hunger strike participants and organizers have been at the forefront of campaigns to put an end to the detention of Transgender immigrants both locally at the Santa Ana City Jail and nationally with DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Their demands are as follow:

  1. That the Santa Ana City Council schedule a vote to cancel the city’s jail contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which allows the city to profit from the detention of undocumented immigrants, including Transgender women.
  2. That the Santa Ana City Council advocate for the release of Transgender immigrant women from detention centers across the country.
  3. That the Department of Homeland Security and ICE end the use of detention for Transgender immigrant women, who face disproportionate abuse and rights violations inside both private and public detention centers.

The city of Santa Ana, one of the most Latino and most immigrant cities in the country, contracts with ICE to detain immigrants at a rate of $105 per person per day. The facility maintains specific pods for Transgender and Queer detainees, and most recently came into national attention when it was highlighted on a Human Rights Watch Report on the deplorable conditions Transgender women face in the detention system, and when community members defeated a February attempt to expand the scope of immigrant detention in the facility.

“I support the hunger strike because I was also detained by ICE and know the abuses Trans women face inside detention centers. I want ICE to no longer be in Santa Ana and to end the detention and deprivation of Trans women,” said Angela Pereira, an immigrant from Guatemala.

Hunger Strike Participants issued the following statements:

“There is no such thing as a humane way to detain someone. Rather than provide cover for ICE and DHS, Santa Ana’s Council members should stand with the community and become leaders in the fight against Trans detention by rejecting ICE’s dirty money, and ending their jail contract with the deportation agency,” said Deyaneira Garcia, a senior at Segerstrom High School and OCIYU’s Youth Organizer.

“I am committed in ending the abuse and injustices against our communities and fighting for liberation,” said Jennicet Gutierrez, an Organizer for Familia: TQLM

“I am participating in the hunger strike to ensure ICE no longer continues to terrorize our community here in Santa Ana and to end the abuse and detention of transgender undocumented women. We want an end to all raids, we want ICE out of Santa Ana and all of our communities. The Santa Ana City Council members need to cancel the ICE contract now and stand on the rights side of justice,” said Jorge Gutierrez, Director of Familia: TQLM.

Who: Immigrant and LGBTQ Rights Leaders
What: Hunger Strike
When: Monday, May 16 at 8:00 AM
Where: Sasser Park | 507 West 4th Street Santa Ana, CA 92701

Sign the Petition: End the ICE Contract!

Hunger Striker Bios:

Noche de Altares 2015 3

Deyaneira García is an 18 year old, undocumented youth organizer from Santa Ana who migrated from México City. She is currently finishing her senior year at Segerstrom High School. Deyaneira began organizing around immigrant rights – focusing on bringing voice in the movement to people her age. She has participated in various community events through the Orange County Immigrant Youth United and RAIZ on behalf of young adults, immigrants, and residents of Santa Ana. Her biggest achievement has been the creation of a curriculum for students in order to make their transition into organizing spaces smoother. Deyaneira believes that migration is not only a human right but a community concern that every one should come together to protect. She is in full solidarity with her Trans sisters in order to bring awareness to their discrimination and their struggle. Deyaneira is willingly continuing the fight against the criminalization and deportation of all people.


Jennicet Gutiérrez is a transgender  activist and organizer from México. She currently resides in Los Angeles. She is best known for shedding light on the plight of transgender women in immigration detention centers through her organization FAMILIA: TQLM (Trans Queer Liberation Movement). She burst onto the national scene when she interrupted President Obama during his White House speech in honor of Pride month, calling attention to the struggles of Trans immigrant women. Jennicet believes in the importance of uplifting and centering the voices of trans women of color in all racial justice work. Jennicet will continue to organize in order to end the deportation, incarceration and criminalization of immigrants and all people of color. 

10620124_10203841090160375_4538136036696766874_oJorge Gutierrez is an UndocuQueer organizer born in Nayarit, Mexico, and was raised in Santa Ana, California. His organizing bridges immigrant rights, racial justice and LGBTQ rights and works across issues and communities in order to end the systems that are killing, incarcerating and deporting people of color.  Most recently he is the founder of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, a national and local organizing, political and cultural home for the LGBTQ Latin@/Latinx/Latino community in the United States. Familia: TQLM is currently leading a national campaign #EndTransDetention to end the detention and deportation of trans undocumented women and stop all deportations.  In addition, he has co-founded various organizations focused on social justice for the LGBTQ, Latinx and immigrant communities: DeColores Queer Orange County, the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA), and the founder of the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP).

  • Tweet
  • Share 0
  • Reddit
  • +1
  • Pinterest 0
  • LinkedIn 0

Related Links

Partner Links