Immigrant Youth Justice League

Return to the Immigrant Youth Justice League Queering Left Episode.

The Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) was a network based in Chicago that represented undocumented youth and allies in the demand for immigrant rights through education, resource-gathering, and youth mobilization. In 2012, IYJL evolved into Organized Communities Against Deportations, one of Chicago's most powerful voices for immigrant rights. IJYL organized many powerful actions that directly confronted government officials who held the power to pass immigration reform and stop the mass deportations. The following video is from a 2013 OCAD direct action on Michigan Avenue outside of a President Obama fundraiser.


IYJL organizers weren't afraid to put their bodies in direct confrontation with deportations. The following video is from 2013, when a group of seven undocumented immigrants from Illinois sat down blocking the doors to the Broadview Detention Facility, linking arms together using pipes, chains, and locks. They were protesting the record-high deportations under President Obama, and the lack of leadership from Illinois representatives to call for a suspension of these deportations.


IYJL gave many powerful speeches during their actions and used audio to capture the purpose of their movement.

The following is a series of recordings about coming out as queer and undocumented.

The following speeches were recorded at the second annual National Coming out of the Shadows day. It took place in Chicago's Daily Plaza on March 10th, 2011.


The following speeches are from National Coming Out of the Shadows, March 10, 2012, Chicago, IL.

From the Interview

Rey references hearing Sylvia Rivera's speech from the 1973 New York City Gay Pride rally and the power of Sylvia's "firece" words.