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undocubus-slideA New York Times Editorial originally published in the Sunday Review

On Sunday night or early Monday, about three dozen people are planning to set out on a six-week bus voyage through the dark terrain of American immigration politics. Their journey is to begin, fittingly, in the desert in Arizona, national capital of anti-immigrant laws and oppressive policing. It will wind through other states where laws and failed policies force immigrants to toil outside the law — New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee — and end in North Carolina at the Democratic National Convention.

There the riders plan to deliver a defiant message to a president who is hoping to return to office on a wave of Latino support that they believe he has not earned.

There is something very different about this particular protest. Many of those planning to ride the bus are undocumented and — for the first time — are not afraid to say so. Immigrants who dread arrest and deportation usually seek anonymity. These riders, weary of life in the shadows and frustrated by the lack of progress toward reform, will be telling federal authorities and the local police: Here are our names. This is our plan. If you want us, come get us.

Published in Article

dreamer-slide

Gina Perez is a member of Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance. She has been a leading member of the growing movement in Georgia, being among the first students in the state to ‘come out of the shadows’ in civil disobediance.   In response to the education ban, GUYA has organized the Freedom University, where students are taking classes despite being barred from public universities.

In this piece for Organizing Upgrade Marisa Franco interviews Gina Perez.

BIMThe Black Immigration Network’s (BIN) National convening in late April 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia marked an exceptionally difficult period for black immigrants, African Americans and other people of color. Despite the rhetoric that the election of Barack Obama has ushered in a new “post-racial era”, individual, institutional and structural racism is still alive and well in the U.S. and across the world.  All of our communities are besieged by the effects of a society-wide economic crisis; the demonization and criminalization of people of color, including immigrants; and a surge in racist ideology and white supremacist groups as well as racist and xenophobic federal, state and local laws and policies.  The case of Trayvon Martin is only the latest example of a virulent trend in U.S. society.

On the issue of immigration, the rightwing framework still holds considerable sway in the U.S., especially, but not only, among white people.  The frame posits that immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants are criminals, pose a threat to national security, suck jobs and resources from native born Americans, and threaten the national identity of white citizens.  Increasing militarization of the border, aggressive detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants, limited labor rights and restrictions on public benefits for immigrants are key demands of anti-immigrant groups.

Published in Black Organizing

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