Home / Opinion / Commentary / It is time to unlock future for immigrant women and girls

It is time to unlock future for immigrant women and girls


Last week, the Morrison Institute released its survey findings on issues important to Arizonans. The survey found that immigration is not a priority for many citizens polled. While we agree that legislation for public education and water quality are vital to the improvement of our communities, immigration cannot be overlooked. 

Sheila Ogea

Sheila Ogea

Immigrant women and girls are locked away in cruel and costly detention prisons, where they’re subjected to physical and sexual abuse, strip searches, invasive questioning and tracking of their periods by U.S. government officials. Unfortunately, Arizona is complicit in these crimes against humanity.  

Phoenix’s Eloy detention center is one of the most inhumane centers of atrocities. Between 2003 and 2016, 15 people died while in detention at Eloy, including five suicides. Additionally, there are frequent reports of inmates at Eloy being placed in solitary confinement simply because they identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. It has also been plagued by disease, such as a 2016 measles outbreak, which resulted because of ICE’s refusal to provide vaccinations.  

The facts are as follows: on any given day 5,000 women, men and children will be detained in Arizona. Detained immigrants in our state make up 10% of detained immigrants nationwide. Arizona is one of the top five states with the most immigrant detention centers. 

Toni Van Pelt

Toni Van Pelt

The mistreatment of immigrants isn’t some distant problem being fought in Washington, D.C. It’s happening right here in our state. We cannot dismiss immigration as simply a political debate – we must understand that human rights violations occur every day in our community.   

Thankfully, national and local organizations share this concern. For example, the National Organization for Women has formed the “Unlock the Future” partnership with RAICES and other co-sponsors to demand that migrant families have access to necessities such as reproductive health care, feminine hygiene products and mental health care. Our Phoenix and Arizona chapters are key in achieving success. 

We refuse to be complicit in the horrors occurring in our city. We stood up for immigrant women and girls December 8 at NOW’s “Unlock the Future” rally in Phoenix. We hope that fellow Arizonans will understand the necessity of speaking up and join us in this endeavor to protect our neighbors. 

Sheila Ogea is president of the Arizona National Organization for Women and Toni Van Pelt is president of NOW. 


  1. What we will get is..
    -Massive tax increases.
    -Ending of all deportations of illegal aliens (if you get here, you stay.)
    -Drivers licenses for illegal aliens.
    -Voting rights for non citizens.
    -Welfare & Food Stamps for illegal aliens. (Warren)
    -Open Borders.
    -Sanctuary Cities.
    -Decriminalize illegal entry into our country.
    -De-fund & terminate Border Patrol & ICE.
    -Disarming Americans.
    -Free medicare care for all including non citizens Warren / Sanders (taxpayer funded with a 52 trillion estimate)
    -Free college for all, including non citizens. (tax payer funded)
    -Late term abortions up to 9 months.
    Democrat-Socialist 2020 Platform & Goals

  2. Open borders and pro illegal immigration mindset is how we got to this point in Arizona. Breaking the law is how illegal aliens and other women and girls find themselves incarcerated. It is a result of decisions that they made. It is way past time we do what is best for American citizens and that is to make coming to and remaining in the United States illegally as inhospitable as possible and their certain removal from the United States as expeditious as possible. The costs of detaining illegal alien law breakers is rarely mentioned so it must be a sizeable sum.

  3. You two ladies need to worry about citizens needs.

  4. How can you read about women and little girls being abused and held in atrocious conditions and still spout your conspiracy theories and fear mongering lies.

    If you live in Arizona you know full well that none of the nonsense you are spreading is true. What has an immigrant ever done to you personally? Cost you personally? Deprived you of personally?

    They broke no laws. They were simply immigrants until the current admin made immigration illegal.

    They are not getting free healthcare, free college, or a DL. Don’t worry your self-centered, hate-filled little hearts they are being treated like vermin just like you think they should.

    Honestly, how does someone become so hateful and callous towards the suffering of others who were not blessed with your good fortune?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Check Also

Solar panels and wind turbine against blue sky

Regulators should be commended for moving on energy policy issues (access required)

The ACC should be commended for finally moving on important energy policy issues facing the state of Arizona with bipartisan agreement. There is significant common ground on energy and environmental issues that too often goes unnoticed, and making progress on updating and modernizing our state’s energy rules shows that pragmatic solutions, which voters hold as a priority, are possible.