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Special Project

Special Project
From the 4th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Expose & Close The Deportation Force

Entered in Immigration & Refugees


Every day, all across the country, immigrants are being hunted and abducted by government agents. Undocumented immigrants, who most Americans believe should have a way to become citizens, are instead being subject to abuse.

We are United We Dream, the national network of undocumented immigrant youth. We and our families organize to protect ourselves and build a future that everyone can be proud of. We are #HereToStay and will fight for our right to keep our communities together.

This isn’t a policy issue - it’s a matter of life and death. In Washington, politicians just keep dumping billions into the deportation force - agents who are literally hunting us down and building concentration camps to hold even more of us. In spite of abuses, politicians kept telling us that there were only isolated incidents, that we were overreacting, that it wasn’t true. Meanwhile, ICE and CBP continued to hide all of the abuse and violence as much as they could. 

We built the Expose and Close campaign, to tell the truth about the agents who are abusing us and to move people to action. We wanted the campaign to be rooted in the lived experience of directly impacted people: us!

Through testimonials, art and innovative tools to share information and generate action, we brought widespread awareness to the crisis. After hundreds of thousands of video views and reaching millions of people we stopped the government from moving the immigrant kids they abducted to a military base, are just getting started!

Strategy and Execution

We knew that no one method was going to get the information out there to Expose & Close the immigration agencies which are terrorizing immigrant communities.

So our people-led strategy brought in all of the talent in our community to document the truth through data collection and reports to serve as the backbone; real story videos; an innovative Tracker to conglomerate the news and show that it wasn’t just one isolated incident. But the strategy didn’t end there. Immigrant youth also built a new action platform to lead people to take action at a mass scale.

Our Expose and Close campaign is an effort to do just that - expose the horror and inspire people with the resilience of the immigrant community to fight back and win.

At the heart of this campaign was, to tell the truth as we experience it. We developed a report to document the collected experiences of immigrant communities terrorized by the deportation force and made sure that all offices on Capitol Hill saw it through email, twitter and good old fashioned walking the halls of Congress.

But we knew we needed to bring the stories of our members to life so interviewed and produced short videos of young people and community members whose lives were turned upside down by family members being abducted by the deportation force. The videos were seen a total of 235,000 times - bringing the stories of our silent suffering into the light.

And we showed the nation that these stories weren’t isolated examples with a new ICE & CBP Abuse Tracker which invited users to scroll through a shocking and long list of deaths, abductions, abuse and cruelty inflicted upon immigrants by the deportation force. The tracker was viewed some 11,365 times and made national news in English and Spanish.

Every pathway of information led people to action. We built a distributed action portal called to provide a place for people around the country to get the facts, find out where a detention camp is and take action on their own to shut them down. As far as we know, there have been over 79 protests organized through this site. We designed it to be used by a wide range of organizations and individuals such as the leaders of Bend The Arc, the progressive Jewish advocacy group who organized 50 events!


On July 20, 2019, our Expose & Close campaign reached a high point when over 400 people descended on rural Oklahoma to stop the Trump administration from moving over 1,400 children they had abducted to a military base where there would have been zero oversight and zero accountability to human rights standards. 

This was no charity campaign, it is a campaign driven by the immigrant communities directly impacted by the abductions, abuse, and terror of the deportation force.

With 235,000 views and a reach of 8,025,000 people, this campaign exceeded our numeric goals. However, the children who were helped and the young people inspired by this campaign are victories that transcend numbers and we are pumped to keep on fighting!


Video for Expose & Close The Deportation Force

Entrant Company / Organization Name

United We Dream