In the Press
While One Comes Home, Thousands Suffer, Says True North After Claudia Portillo Released From ICE Detention
Our network has witnessed the pain that a family experiences when a daughter, sister, mother, cousin, aunt and friend is jailed and separated from those who love her. Through our relationships with Claudia and her family, we empathize deeply with the pain of isolation and the cruelty of immigration detention. We opened our hearts and put our boots on the ground for Claudia, and this time we were able to help bring a loved one home. We need to do the same for other families who are being ripped apart by the broken immigration system and callous government officials.
While Claudia will likely be home with her family by the end of this week, thousands of children and parents will remain separated, alone and afraid. The whereabouts of their loved ones will remain unknown. As an organization dedicated to advancing immigrant rights, we will continue our fight for them. Now is the time for all people of goodwill and a thirst for justice in our North Coast Community to stand up and join us in this fight!
"Urueta said she believes the outpouring of community support shown during Portillo’s hearing Monday played an important role in Judge Patrick O’Brien’s decision to grant Portillo’s request to be released on bond."
North Coast Journal 06/20/2018
'“It’s not a question of why we should help, its why would we not help support an upstanding member of our community. Why would we not go to bat to keep families together?” Dennis Rael, who helped coordinate the free food for the protesters says. He explains that Los Bagels as a company stands with the community, and for human rights. But the donation was not about promoting the store, simply helping people who are fighting for what they believe is right."
Redwood News 06/19/2018
"Over the past week, a community fundraiser has raised more than $8,000 in online and in cash donations, and both individuals and community groups are arranging to cover the rest of the $12,000 cost of her release. Claudia may be home with her family this week."
North Coast News 06/19/2018
"Arcata resident Claudia Portillo, who was held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody since November, could soon be freed following a decision by a San Francisco immigration Judge Patrick O’Brien on Monday afternoon. Avigail Portillo, who just graduated from high school this month, was part of a convoy of around two dozen people that went down to San Francisco for the immigration hearing Monday. “Honestly, I was happy to see her but I was more nervous,” Avigail Portillo said after Monday’s hearing. Avigail Portillo said she and her three younger sisters are all excited for their mother to return home to Arcata.
This morning, Judge Patrick O’Brien granted Portillo’s request to be released on $12,000 bond, though the Department of Homeland Security can appeal his ruling, which would delay Portillo’s release. Portillo has four daughters, one of whom graduated from Arcata High School last week.
A community fundraiser held over the past week raised more than $8,000 and community groups are currently working to raise the rest of the money needed for Portillo’s bond with the hopes she will be able to return home this week.
North Coast Journal 06/18/2018
"Claudia Portillo, asistió a una visita de revisión con inmigración en Bakersfield y fue detenida, pasaron más de siete meses para que un juez le asignará una fianza de 12,000 dólares para poder regresar a casa y estar con sus cuatro hijas."
Univision Television Group 06/18/2018
"Dozens drove from six hours away in Claudia's home of Arcata to San Francisco on Monday to see if she might receive bond. When the judge declared it at $12,000, more than twice what the group raised, things looked cloudy -- and then, magic.
"One of our neighbors was sitting next to me and she looks up and says, 'I inherited some money. I'm going to front it. I have a check in my pocket. I'm just going to pay it,'" said Leila Roberts, a community supporter with the True North group."
NBC Bay Area 06/18/2018
"Claudia Portillo, an undocumented Arcata resident and mother to four daughters, has been granted release on a $12,000 bond after seven months of immigration detention, and her community is arranging to pay for her release. The North Coast community has advocated for Ms. Portillo’s release both at home in Humboldt and Del Norte counties and in San Francisco with community events, online fundraisers and direct support to her family."
Lost Coast Outpost 06/18/2018
"A Humboldt County woman who has been detained by immigration officials since November is now set to be released and reunited with her family. The family says they are celebrating today. But, say with recent events they will continue their work fighting for immigrant families.
More than a dozen family members and supporters of Claudia Portillo journeyed down state from Humboldt County and rallied outside an immigration courthouse in San Francisco on Monday, hoping for her release."
KTVU Television 06/18/2018
'“My sister has been stuck in detention for seven months. She has missed her daughters’ birthdays and graduations waiting for a bond hearing.” Explained Ms. Portillo’s sister Jenny Ventura. “That hearing was just scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday, June 18th in San Francisco. We have to make it count.”'
Lost Coast Outpost 06/13/2017
"Two convoys from Humboldt County will depart promptly at 6:30 am Monday, June 18th from in front of both the Arcata and Eureka locations of Los Bagels, a popular local bakery and cafe and donor of food for the journey. They will gather with clergy and allies at the San Francisco Immigration Court house at 12 noon that day, before filing into Ms. Portillo’s 1 pm hearing."
Redheaded Blackbelt 06/13/2018
"Since May 2017, True North leaders and staff have partnered with the Northern California chapter of the ACLU to build a Rapid Response Network to respond to heightened fears of ICE raids on the North Coast. So far, more than 50 local leaders comprise the Response Team, and have been trained to respond if unforeseen ICE activity is reported and verified in Humboldt County."
Lost Coast Outpost 01/22/2018
"When Claudia Portillo, 30, mother of four, left her north Arcata home three weeks ago, she was confident that her appointment at the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services office in San Francisco would go well. But Portillo didn’t come back, and what was supposed to be a yearly check-in became a fight to bring her home. Jenny Ventura, sister of Portillo and a leader within the True North Organizing Network, knows all too well that the current immigration system can be difficult to navigate for many undocumented people. “My sister had an appointment at the regional center on Tuesday, Nov. 14,” Ventura said. “She was very confident that she would just turn in her paperwork for her annual check-in. I was even going to go with her.”'
"Cuando Claudia Portillo, de 30 años y madre de cuatro hijos, dejó su hogar en el norte de Arcata hace tres semanas, confiaba en que su cita en la oficina del Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos en San Francisco iría bien. Pero Portillo no regresó, y lo que se suponía ser un registración anual se convirtió a una pelea para llevarla a casa. Jenny Ventura, hermana de Portillo y un líder dentro de True North Organizing Network, sabe muy bien que el sistema de inmigración puede ser difícil de navegar para muchas personas indocumentadas. “Mi hermana tuvo una cita en el centro regional el martes 14 de noviembre,” dijo Ventura. “Ella estaba muy segura de que solo entregaría su documentación para su registro anual. Incluso iba a ir con ella.”'
El leñador 12/08/2017
Vigil for McKinleyville Woman Detained by ICE to Be Held Tonight; ‘Deportation Defense’ Online Fundraiser Launched
"32-year-old Claudia Portillo remains in a Bay Area detention center now two weeks after she was taken into custody by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. In response various local community organizing groups have planned a #No1StandsAlone vigil in Arcata for Tuesday night. Additionally a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise funds for potential future legal costs Claudia’s family — which includes her fiancee and four children, all U.S. citizens who live her in Humboldt — may endure."
Lost Coast Outpost 11/28/2017
"Mike Thornton, a True North organizer researching local homelessness, asked legislators in the room for their suggestions regarding such issues. “It is going to have to be a combined effort,” Inscore said, noting meetings are ongoing to solve these problems. He said the city is working to be competitive in receiving money from the state’s No Place Like Home initiative."
Del Norte Triplicate 10/28/2017
"Cynthia Barcelo, immigration rights leader for True North Organizing Network, pointed out the parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, neighbors and best friends of Del Norte students who don’t qualify for DACA fear they may be taken away from their families. The fear that they will be taken away from their families make some undocumented immigrants physically and mentally ill, she said. “We worry that DACA immigrants will be supported at the expense of undocumented immigrants who are just as worthy as any human being of dignity and respect,” Barcelo said. “On behalf of the members of my community who feel frightened and are hiding in the shadows, I plead that you take a similar stand for them as well. They need elected leaders like you to stand with them.”
Felice Pace, a member of the Klamath Local Organizing Committee, which is affiliated with True North, noted many undocumented workers in Del Norte County do jobs that are difficult and dangerous and are poorly paid. “It is not that Americans don’t want to do those jobs,” he said. “It’s just that we’re not willing to work that hard for that little amount of money. I would hope that knowing those realities, that you would support all of the people that are part of our community and happen to be undocumented.”'
Del Norte Triplicate 09/30/2017
"Every pew in the small white United Methodist Church at the corner of Del Norte and F streets was filled on Monday evening, with people standing in the back aisles and sitting on plastic chairs in the overflow room. Many fanned themselves with programs. Spanish speakers wore headsets provided by the Humboldt Area Foundation, listening as an interpreter translated presentations by a variety of speakers, the culmination of many conversations between people in the immigrant community and leaders in the True North Organizing Network about how to best protect and serve undocumented people in the community.
North Coast Journal 09/16/2017
"During a community meeting on Aug. 24, Alejandro Dominguez, of Crescent City, spoke to a group that included the Humboldt Area Foundation, KHSU, True North and HSU President Lisa Rossbacher. Through a Spanish interpreter, Dominguez shared the necessity of bringing Radio Bilingüe further north. “We want to be involved with the whole community,” Dominguez said. “But we don’t know how. It’s important for us to be informed locally.” Beyond feeling included in the larger community, Dominguez spoke on the importance of sharing opportunities, improving public safety and disseminating information. “We want to know about food availability, ” Dominguez said. “We want to know where we can seek medical attention. We want to know about forums at city halls. We want to know if we’re in danger because of a forest fire.”'
El leñador 09/05/2017
"A local community organizing network has weighed in on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia with a plea to the community to “refuse to allow neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other avowed racists to spread messages of hate.”
True North Organizing Network condemned the use of violence by those participating in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville on Saturday and expressed its support for the victims of that violence, according to a press release Monday."
Del Norte Triplicate 08/17/2017
"On this episode of North Coast Update, Susan Andrews reports that True North Organizing Network and the Klamath Local Organizing Committee brought together community leaders to address the lack of recreational opportunities for Klamath youth. Questions remain, but concerns include youth having to play in the streets due to a lack of maintained facilities. Team sports were a focus of discussions , but other ideas included trails and a swimming pool."
"The lack of recreational opportunities for young people in Klamath has long been on the minds of members of the community. On Tuesday the Klamath Local Organizing Committee, a division of the True North Organizing Network, took a big step towards addressing that issue by bringing various leaders in the community together at Margaret Keating Elementary School to commit to working together to create a plan.
“This issue in particular, we have been talking about this in private since I moved back here in 2005,” said KLOC member Josh Norris. “Parents and community members have been talking about this for years. It has always sort of been at the top of our priority list, but we weren’t sure about a strategy because we have always been told there is no funding for this kind of project, and once we get the facilities who is going to run the programs?”'
Del Norte Triplicate 06/24/2017