Dear Benicia Community,
We want to bring your awareness to an unsanctioned and dangerous activity that Benicia teens have participated in over the last twenty years, which is an underground, and unwelcomed event in our community. It is a chase-and-capture game referenced as “La Migra”. This activity happens in the Spring, usually on a Friday evening in late March or in April. We have information that suggests this game may take place on Friday, March 31, 2023.
While this activity is not in any way organized or condoned by the schools, Benicia Unified School District, or the City of Benicia, there is an urgent need to provide our community with information and ask for your partnership in putting an end to this event once and for all. We want to provide awareness about this event and see it stopped for two important reasons: the inappropriate, racist, and offensive nature of the game and the incredible safety concerns for our students and innocent bystanders.
“La Migra” is slang for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and is the name used for this controversial game based on ICE agents deporting undocumented immigrants. The event involves older students chasing younger students through the city, trying to catch them, and then possibly transporting or holding the student against their will. The event begins at one location, typically a park in town, with the younger students attempting to get to a second designated location without being caught by an older student. A student that is captured is sometimes dropped off in an unknown location. There are reports of extremely unsafe situations in the course of this event, including unsafe driving, students dressed in all black with masks running through backyards and private property, speeding, physical contact causing injury, unsafe physical detainment, and students being left without the ability to contact someone to pick them up. It is important to stop this activity immediately to keep students from being injured or harmed.
In addition to the physical safety concerns, Benicia Unified School District strongly advocates for respect for all individuals, regardless of race, place of origin, sexual orientation, or disability. A game such as “La Migra” causes harm, both physical and emotional, to members of our community.
We urge every family to discuss this event, use this as an opportunity for education and understanding, and help us put an end to this game in our community. In a city that has been nominated as a Be Kind city, continuing “La Migra” is counter-productive to this goal.