Person

Kica Matos

Kica Matos is the vice president of initiatives at the left-of-center Vera Institute of Justice, an organization originally created to promote bail reform that has since shifted much of its focus to advocating for expansionist immigration policies. [1]

Vera Institute of Justice

As vice president of initiatives at the Vera Institute of Justice, Matos has been a national advocate for expanding immigration to the United States. [2]

The Vera Institute of Justice under Matos pursues two broad objectives: increasing access to legal services for undocumented immigrants and lobbying to decriminalize illegal immigration. [3]

Matos referred to the 2020 election as “a historic election threatened by efforts to disenfranchise voters.” Matos also claimed that the 2020 election was an election influenced by “the systemic racism of its institutions, including the American immigration system.” Matos has criticized the United States immigration system for not providing free legal services for the tens of thousands of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants who are subject to deportation. [4] Matos has called upon city and state governments to provide free legal services for illegal immigrants and for legal immigrants who are subject to deportation for committing crimes while in the United States. [5] Matos stated that such funding is necessary to provide a “powerful counter-narrative to the federal government’s relentless anti-immigrant policies and dangerous, divisive rhetoric.” [6]

Prior Work

Before joining the Vera Institute of Justice, Matos was the director of immigration rights and racial justice at the Center for Community Change, a left-of-center criminal justice and immigration policy organization. While working at the Center for Community Change, Matos coordinated the formation of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, [7] the largest network of far-left and left-of-center organizations committed to increasing immigration to the United States. [8]

In 2013, Matos delivered a speech in Washington, D.C. in which she said that “our nation’s immigration policy is broken” and that any resolution requires granting legal status to the 11 million persons illegally present in the United States. Matos went on to state that the institutions that are meant to serve justice “conspire” to make undocumented immigrants and unemployed members of society more invisible. [9] Matos spoke at the steps of the Supreme Court while the Court heard oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC, a case involving speech rights. [10]

Speaking Engagement Services

Matos provides speaking services, where she provides lectures on left-wing social policy, the future of democracy, and immigration. Matos charges a speaking fee between $7,500 and $10,000. [11]

On her website, Matos advertises her interview  on China Global Television Network, a television network that is owned and operated by China Central Television (CCTV), which is owned by the Chinese Communist Party. [12] In the interview, Matos called for comprehensive immigration policy change for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States and accused President Trump of “criminalizing and demonizing” immigrants, calling the Trump administration “xenophobic.” Matos also voiced support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the interview. [13]

References

  1. “Kica Matos” Vera Institute of Justice. https://www.vera.org/people/kica-matos ^
  2. “Kica Matos” Vera Institute of Justice. https://www.vera.org/people/kica-matos ^
  3. “Immigration and Justice” Vera Institute of Justice. https://www.vera.org/centers/immigration-and-justice ^
  4. Matos, Kica and Gym, Helen. “One Big Thing Cities Can Do on Immigration” Bloomberg-CityLab. October 26, 2020. Accessed November 11, 2020. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-26/one-big-thing-cities-can-do-to-protect-immigrants ^
  5. Matos, Kica and Gym, Helen. “One Big Thing Cities Can Do on Immigration” Bloomberg-CityLab. October 26, 2020. Accessed November 11, 2020. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-26/one-big-thing-cities-can-do-to-protect-immigrants ^
  6. Matos, Kica and Gym, Helen. “One Big Thing Cities Can Do on Immigration” Bloomberg-CityLab. October 26, 2020. Accessed November 11, 2020. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-26/one-big-thing-cities-can-do-to-protect-immigrants ^
  7. “Kica Matos” Vera Institute of Justice. https://www.vera.org/people/kica-matos ^
  8. “About” Fair Immigration Reform Movement. https://fairimmigration.org/about ^
  9. “Rally for Campaign Finance Reform” C-SPAN at 30:50–33:18. https://www.c-span.org/video/?315525-1/rally-campaign-finance-reform ^
  10. “Rally for Campaign Finance Reform” C-SPAN at 30:50–33:18. https://www.c-span.org/video/?315525-1/rally-campaign-finance-reform ^
  11. “Kica Matos” Key Speakers. https://keyspeakers.com/bio.php?3684-kica-matos ^
  12. “Kica Matos – Talks” Key Speakers. https://keyspeakers.com/bio.php?3684-kica-matos ^
  13. “Kica Matos – Talks” Key Speakers. https://keyspeakers.com/bio.php?3684-kica-matos ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Atlantic Philanthropies (Non-profit)
    Former Program Director
  2. Center for Community Change (CCC) (Non-profit)
    Former Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice
  3. Democracy Alliance Conferences (Other Group)
    Participant, Spring 2016
  4. Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) (Non-profit)
    Former Coordinator
  5. JUNTA for Progressive Action (Non-profit)
    Former Executive Director
  6. USAction (Non-profit)
    Former Board Member
  7. Vera Institute of Justice (VIJ) (Non-profit)
    Director of Center on Immigration and Justice
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