San Diego Rally Raises the Voices of Women and Girls Detained in Immigration Prisons 

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA –  Gathering near the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where a 37-year-old detainee died suspiciously just last week and sexual assault complaints have increased by 158 percent in the past year, hundreds of activists are rallying today with the National Organization for Women and our Unlock the Future partners for the humane treatment of immigrant women and girls.  

“Brave women make the difficult, wrenching choice to uproot their families, abandon their homes and risk a dangerous journey north seeking a life free from violence and assault,” said NOW President Toni Van Pelt. “Yet when they get here they find themselves in places such as Otay Mesa, where they may face sexual assault and harassment, lack of proper reproductive health care, nutrition and feminine hygiene resources, are cruelly separated from their children and suffer an increased risk of miscarriage.”  

In response to these horrid conditions, the Unlock the Future campaign issued a Bill of Rights for immigrant women and girls, which is supported by hundreds of partners and calls for basic human needs and dignities for detained people. Additionally, NOW is submitting a complaint to the Department of Homeland Security against the astonishingly poor health care services being provided to lesbian, gay and transgender migrants and those living with HIV in detention prisons.  

The campaign is also partnering with organizations like the Dolores Huerta Foundation to amplify the grassroots voice to Congress and the administration and Huerta is a featured speaker at the rally.  

“Today we rally for all of the women and girls locked away unjustly as they sought freedom from violence and oppression,” said Dolores Huerta. “We must continue to raise their voices and stories until these detention prisons are nothing but a painful memory.” 

NOW and our Unlock the Future partners will next hold rallies in Houston on Nov 17, and Phoenix on Dec. 8 and will be taking the Bill of Rights to Capitol Hill and top administration officials.  

“The women and children whose rights we are here to defend have been stripped of their dignity, safety, their visibility as human beings.  Their voices aren’t being heard.  Their stories aren’t being told,” said NOW Vice President Christian F. Nunes. “But we are here for them and standing for them, and we are taking their cause to the highest levels of government. “  




Unlock the Future Co-Sponsors: 

National Partners 

Dolores Huerta Foundation 

Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) 

Feminist Majority Political Action Committee 



Catholics for Choice 

Immigrant Families Together 

Border Angels 

Legal Momentum  

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice  

Sister Song  

African Communities Public Health Coalition  


Black Women’s Blueprint  


The Global Women’s Institute 

PERIOD. The Menstrual Movement 


Local and State Partners 

California NOW 

Hollywood NOW 

San Diego Area NOW  

Senator Pro Temp Toni Atkins  

Heart of LA Democratic Club 

Field Team 6 

Stonewall Democratic Club 

Women’s March California 

Women’s March San Diego 

The Strategic Insights Group 

The Outrage 


Go With The Flow 

S K Burt Law 

Direct Support for Immigrants

And additional sponsors to be announced 

For a full list of Unlock the Future Partners, please see our Bill of Rights.  

Contact: Kimberly Hayes, Press Secretary,, 202-570-4745