Daily Mail, March 20, 2016
One of the lead organizers who was arrested after she shut down an Arizona road causing massive delays with dozens of other protesters against Donald Trump claims she was sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement because of her surname.
Jacinta Gonzalez was arrested Saturday in Fountain Hills after she tied a band of some sort around her neck and locked it onto a van’s window frame that was parked on Shea Boulevard to block traffic from those who wanted to attend the GOP presidential front-funner’s rally.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said that Gonzalez along with Michael Cassidy and Stephany Laughlin, who goes by the name of Ben, were arrested for a charge of blocking a public road.
‘We had a little problem,’ Arpaio told the crowd that gathered in Fountain Hills. ‘Demonstrators were trying to disrupt.
‘Three of them are in jail. If they think they’re going to intimidate you the next president of the U.S., it’s not going to happen.’
Gonzalez, who is originally from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico was in protest against the anti-immigrant views that Trump has spoken out about while on the campaign trail.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Gonzalez claims that she was held overnight at 4th Avenue Jail and then transferred over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
As Cassidy and Laughlin were released around 1am on Sunday, Gonzalez claims that she was put on an ICE ‘hold’ instead of released on her own accord.
‘This just proves that the hatred and the profiing that Trump says and tries to promote is the same that exists within this administration,’ Gonzalez said in the video.
‘That’s why we have to continue to try and shut down Trump. We have to continue to fight for our communities and say ‘not one more’, we have to continue to fight for the families like the family that I saw inside.’
Gonzalez, was a lead organizer of the Congress of Day Laborers with the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice.
She worked with women, youth, immigrant families and day laborers to challenge the practices of them being targeted by immigration enforcement authorities, according to her biography on Open Society Foundations.
‘I was really intrigued with what was happening with workers who came to New Orleans–how they were being integrated into the community,’ Gonzalez told Gambit in 2011.
‘I was drawn to come as someone who speaks both English and Spanish and who has lived on both sides of the border.’
Gonzalez helped to ‘establish and maintain a base of day laborers dedicated to building worker power, advancing racial justice, and mobilizing workers across race and industry in post-Katrina New Orleans,’ her biography reads.
The Wesleyan University graduate is a recipient of the New Voices Fellowship, and has also studied at the School of International Training in Durban, South Africa, and the Universidade Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela, according to Open Society Foundations.
In 2011 she was awarded the Soros Justice Fellowship, which grants between $58,000 to $110,000 to individuals to undertake projects that advance reform, catalyze change on a range of issues facing the criminal justice system in the US and spur debate.
The fellowship is a part of a larger effort within the Open Society Foundations’ Justice Fund, that was started by billionaire George Soros, supports democracy and human rights in more than 100 countries.
The 85-year-old business magnate has been a prominent international supporter of democratic ideals and causes for more than 30 years, according to his website.