ALERT: BUSD Superintendent warns of ‘infamous tradition’ La Migra, urges families to discuss chase-game’s racist origin and danger

[Note from BenIndy:  Benicia Unified School District (BUSD) issued a district-wide warning that the annual occurrence of the racist, violent “game” Benicia High School students call “La Migra” is anticipated to occur soon. For more than 20 years, the La Migra “chase-game” has inflicted deep emotional and often physical harm on Benicia’s vulnerable youth, especially our youth of color. La Migra also claims countless hours of our police department’s time, tying up emergency resources and costing Benicia thousands in overtime wages and related spending. After you read Superintendent Damon Wright’s warning, please keep reading to learn more about an amazing event coming to Benicia tomorrow!]

Infamous Traditions

Posted by Benicia Unified School District, March 22, 2024

We want to bring your awareness to an unsanctioned and dangerous activity that Benicia teens have participated in over the last twenty years, an underground, unwelcome 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 April.

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 possibly transporting or holding them 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 who is captured is sometimes dropped off in an unknown location. There are reports of highly unsafe situations in the course of this event, including dangerous 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. BUSD along with various community partners are working 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 end this game in our community.


Damon J. Wright, Ed.D.
Benicia Unified School District


Reminder: Fiestas Primavera Saturday, March 23, 2024

The Solano Aids Coalition (SAC), along with logistical support from the City of Benicia, the Benicia Public Library, the Benicia Unified School District, Benicia Black Lives Matters, and the Kyle Hyland Foundation, is proud to announce the creation of a beautiful and inclusive Benicia cultural event “Fiestas Primavera” a Mexican/Latino Indigenous tradition to celebrate and honor the coming of spring. Please review the promotional video linked here: Fiestas Primavera

Fiestas Primavera spring fest benicia gazebo park open 10:30am to 5:00pm

For more information about Fiestas Primavera and La Migra, check out our archives!