Risking Arrest for Her Mom

Despite opposition, one Latina keeps pushing for immigration reform

By Carla Murphy Apr 11, 2014

With immigration reform stalled in Washington, Gabriela García is fed up. The 23-year-old grad student and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient recently blocked a San Francisco intersection in protest. Her journey, told by PRI, of going from quietly petitioning to civil disobedience reflects the increasing frustrations of many. This week three protesters began a hunger strike in front of the White House. That comes on the heels of a month-long series of fasts by more than 1,500 women in 35 states and Mexico, protesting continued deportations.

García’s mom disapproves of her daughter getting arrested. But Gabriela doesn’t mind.

"To see the fear and the sadness in my mom’s eyes that have forced her to become shameful of who she is — I can’t turn against that," García explained. "I can’t pretend that everything is okay." 

The García’s left Oaxaca for the United States when Gabriela was three-years-old. Her mom, now 65, earns minimum wage at McDonald’s.

Learn more at PRI.