Puente

This grassroots migrant justice organization was born in 2007, as Arizona was in the midst of its anti-Mexican fervor. Immigrants were illegally detained, removed from their families, and deported for breaking state immigration laws that many years later would be deemed unconstitutional by the courts. Puente aims to develop and empower a migrant community that organizes, defends and speaks for itself.

In marches and acts of civil disobedience, Puente members focused the nation on the horrors of Arizona’s SB 1070. In 2012, Puente’s famous “Undocubus” drove from Arizona to the East Coast advocating for migrant rights. Its #Not1More anti-deportation campaign has used a hunger strike, 60-mile march to a detention center, and pressure on the White House to take executive action in order to relieve the plight of migrants. The organization educates migrants on how to fight their own deportation proceedings. It runs a “Human Rights Crisis Hotline” for migrants and community members. It fosters the use of art and culture as a way to educate others about migrant rights, and sponsors a collective in which young photographers and videographers tell migrant stories.

Puente’s other projects include participating in a group effort to create identification cards for all Phoenicians through the Phoenix City Council;  promoting holistic health in the Latino community; offering bilingual programs for kids so they can learn their history through stories, art, and field trips; and providing an “underground library” that reintroduces books that were banned by state law from history courses in the Tucson Unified School District. In 2014, Puente became one of several plaintiffs in a federal case that seeks to ban workplace raids that target the undocumented and result in deportable felony convictions.

puenteaz.org