PUBLIC FORUM, APRIL 15, 2019
TRUE REFORMER BUILDING, PUBLIC WELFARE FOUNDATION
WASHINGTON, DC
See the full live stream event recorded here.

250+

The event drew more than 250 attendees and was live-streamed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Please don’t let your elected officials think immigration is only an issue for very liberal or very conservative people. This is important to ALL people.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Representative, U.S. Congress

On April 16, 2019, JusticeAid returned to the Hamilton in Washington, DC with a music benefit featuring Los Angeles-based Los Lobos.

Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, we raised more than $130,000 for the Immigrant Defense Project, our 2019 beneficiary that works to secure fairness and justice for immigrants in the racially-biased U.S. criminal and immigration systems.

The evening prior to the event, as part of JusticeAid’s educational outreach efforts, we presented Indefensible: Immigrants Trapped by the Criminalization of the Immigration Process, a free public forum held at the True Reformer Building at Public Welfare Foundation.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-D) joined Professor Alina Das (NYU Law, Immigrant Rights Clinic), activists Jonathan Jayes-Green (Co-founder of UndocuBlack Network) and Alejandra Pablos (#KeepAleFree), and moderator Mizue Aizeki (Deputy Director, Immigrant Defense Project) for a discussion on the rights of immigrants at the intersection of today’s criminal and immigration systems.

The exchange was far-reaching and intersectional, focusing not just on the impact of these unfair systems on communities but also the relationship between anti-immigration measures and racism and this country’s long history of isolating “the other.” In discussing what it means to abolish ICE, panelists raised several ideas, including defunding the agency, abolishing detention, and examining the role of tech in mass surveillance.

Panelists shared some individual victories as well. Ocasio-Cortez spoke about a constituent who beat deportation after being detained. Professor Das referenced the release of a client who was detained eight years after paying her debt. Alejandra Pablos talked movingly about her personal journey of fighting deportation, and Jonathan Jayes-Green highlighted UnDocuBlack’s advocacy for performer 21Savage.

 

FORUM GALLERY
We’ve been talking about how everything came together so well, how great the music was, and how amazing it was to introduce a new audience to our work. On behalf of all of us at IDP, I would like to express our deep appreciation for all you have to done to support our work.
Mizue Aizeki, Deputy Director, IDP
MUSIC BENEFIT
APRIL 16, 2019
THE HAMILTON, WASHINGTON, DC

In the midst of your [IDP’s] tireless efforts on behalf of so many abused so cruelly, you found time to work with us on two amazing events that indeed made you and your work new friends and corrected the mad mainstream narrative of fear and hate. We are honored to lend support to your endeavors.

Stephen Milliken, Executive Director, JusticeAid

The following evening, April 16, more than 250 friends and supporters came out to hear Los Lobos perform their greatest hits and more at The Hamilton in Washington, DC. Especially poignant was a song dedicated to Puerto Rico. The event, a combination dinner/live performance, raised more than $130,000 to support IDP.

During intermission, Alisa Wellek, Director of the Immigrant Defense Project, Executive Director of the Immigrant Defense Project, addressed the crowd. “Take a minute to imagine being torn away from your loved ones in the middle of the night, with ICE busting down the door, then sent to a detention center hundreds of miles from your loved ones and from lawyers.” She detailed how IDP works closely with grassroots organizations and community organizers to aid the individuals and families they serve.
By the end of the evening, the crowd was on its feet, as JusticeAid and IDP staff joined supporters and rocked the dance floor, embracing the joy, laughter, and warmth of a successful evening of justice!

 CONCERT GALLERY

WITH HEARTFELT THANKS AND DEEPEST APPRECIATION FROM THE JUSTICEAID BOARD,

Steve Anderson, Kim Coaxum, Paul Dalen, Brandi Harden, Tazewell Jones, Natalie Jowett, Page Kennedy, Gary Kohlman, Stephen G. Milliken, Heather Pinckney, Preston Pugh, Mark Rochon, and Therese Steiner