Bio: Maria Jesus "Marichu" Rodriguez

Maria Jesus Rodriguez has lived in Phoenix for the past 17 years. In Tijuana, she worked as a social worker doing chronic disease prevention, but after not being able to find work, she brought her three children here to be closer to family and have more opportunities.  Keeping her family together, though, is not so straightforward in Arizona’s anti-immigrant climate: after her brother was picked up for a minor traffic violation in 2010, he was pressured to sign a self-deportation order while in Arpaio’s jail, and so is now separated from his U.S. citizen children and grandchildren. She currently works at a tire shop, and as a know-your-rights educator and community health promoter with Puente Arizona.   “An informed community is an armed community,” she says.  “It’s time for our community to be brave and lose our fear and come out of the shadows.  We are fighting for lives with dignity and justice and to be treated like human beings.”


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