Q: Speaking of support, what do you think is most important for organizations and allies who want to support those directly affected?

A: The work needs to be more in-depth. Raising awareness so that it’s not just the allies and the organizations, but rather people in general. At the moment, I haven’t been able to, to be honest. But when we were doing it, we tried working together with other groups and people from churches, or people who’d come to an event and wrote letters.

 

Trying to involve others and making others aware of what is happening and what happens inside (detention centers). Because a lot of people think that the people who are detained are OK, that they don’t need anything because they can eat there, they don’t pay rent and people think they’re happy. People think that they’re treated well. People think that us immigrants come here just because we want to. A lot of people think that “caravaneros” (people in the caravans) are criminals. And that’s where the groups, the organizations, everyone, we should organize and find new ways to make people see that caravaneros or immigrants, we came to this country in search of a new life and others come because in their country they tried to kill them. In other words, they’re no longer just coming for a better life, but to have a life.

 

Create groups to raise awareness to help us continue that. Like what’s happening with the virus, which is a global pandemic. And so we need the whole world involved.

Veronica poses in front of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco shortly after being released from the James A. Musick  Facility. (Photo courtesy of Alex Mensing)

Q: The last thing I wanted to ask is, did you learn anything in your time in the caravan? And if so, what did you learn?

A: Yes, I learned something! The first thing I learned is love for your fellow neighbor. To love one another and care for and support each other. I think it would be one of the best ways to change the world.

I learned to organize, I learned to lead and I learned to discover new horizons. To give an opportunity for other people to continue in this fight. And I’m here, maybe not 100 percent at the moment, but I’m here. To fight for my rights and the rights of my immigrant brothers and sisters.

'You have to fight. You have to always try to get ahead.'