Bronx immigration activist documents living conditions inside migrant detention facility

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An immigration activist from the Bronx infiltrated a detention center in Texas with the goal of helping the undocumented. Now, a documentary has been made about his efforts.

Under the guise of day laborers looking for family members, Marco Saavedra and another activist from North Carolina turned themselves in and approached border patrol agents in Florida and told them they did not have papers.

Their plan worked and they were detained at the Broward transitional facility.

On Sunday, people gathered in Mott Haven to watch the events that unfolded next.

The activists spent a total of three weeks inside the facility, getting other detained immigrants in touch with lawyers. This is the same work they did outside the facility.

They claim they are responsible for getting dozens of detainees released.

Toward the end of their stay, they did media interviews and talked about their plan. They publicized the conditions inside the facility, blowing the whistle and gaining national attention for themselves. They eventually got themselves and others released.

The following year, Saavedra and eight others known as the “Dream 9” self-deported to Mexico and sought re-entry to protest the treatment of migrants.

At the border, he requested asylum to advocate for human rights. He hopes the film continues to build community.

His political asylum case is still pending, but one woman from the “Dream 9” has been granted asylum with another also receiving a different type of immigration relief.

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