August 25, 2012
Birmingham, Ala. -- Maria Cruz Ramirez thrust up a small banner reading “undocumented,” interrupting a hearing on strict state immigration laws to share the impact that the legislation has had on her life.
“I am here to lift up the voice of my community, of my children, all those families who have been separated. I am here and I want to present this so you can see it,” Ramirez, 46, cried out in Spanish as she held up the sign at the meeting in Birmingham. “I am a mother, a responsible mother … I am not a criminal and I am here to defend my rights.”
A mother of three and former owner of a hair salon in Mexico, Ramirez, who lives in Arizona, never thought she would end up here, as an immigration activist, possibly jeopardizing her life in the U.S. But after 11 years in this country, she decided to throw herself into the public spotlight as Arizona’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants threatened her family.
August 20, 2012
The US Commission on Civil Rights held a briefing in Alabama on the impact of state-based immigration laws. They invited the author of SB1070 and the sponsor of Alabama's hate law.
Kris Kobach can't testify about the impact of immigration laws. Undocumented people can. Riders from No Papers No Fear interrupted his speech until they were escorted out.
August 17, 2012
Bob Miller / for NBC News
Maria Cruz Ramirez, 46, awaits her turn to speak at a press conference near the Nashville Public Library on Thursday. Ramirez came to the U.S. in 2001 with her three children, and they overstayed their Visas.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- They are in the United States illegally, and they are tired of hiding.
Over the past few weeks, a group of nearly 40 housekeepers, day laborers, students and immigration activists has been making its way across the country in a ragtag caravan, chanting “no papers, no fear” and proudly declaring “I’m undocumented” in public gatherings.
The riders are not legally in the U.S., a point they want everyone they meet to know. They are on the bus tour, dubbed the “undocubus,” to highlight their plight and to challenge their anti-immigrant foes in the ongoing national debate on immigration.
August 16, 2012
I had heard about the struggle for civil rights in the 60s but it had never mattered to me. I had not realized that I could learn from the struggle, and that it could apply to the situation that I am in. As an undocumented mother from Arizona, the more that I learn and think about organizing for my community, and what strategies we can use to fight for our rights, the more admiration that I have for the civil rights struggles of the African-American community in the United States, and the more that I want to learn from them.
As we travel through the southern United States, especially through states that have such a rich history of racism against black communities, I have also realized that these are places also of resistance.
August 13, 2012
El alguacil de Orleans Parish ha sido un colaborador con la migra en detener la gente en su carcel. La jornada por la justicia manifestaba en apoyo de mujeres en Nueva Orleans como Delmy quienes están defendiendo sus derechos civiles y luchando para mantener sus familias unidas. Juntaron con la esposa de alguacil Gusman para exigir que él cancela su colaboración con ICE y rechazan detener la gente cuando ICE pide.
The Sheriff of Orleans Parish has colaborated with ICE to detain people in his jails for extra time at immigration enforcement's request. The ride for justice joined a demonstration with New Orleans women like Delmy who have been in his jails and are organizing to defend their civil rights and to keep their families together. They met with Sheriff Gusman's wife and demanded the Sheriff reject ICE hold requests when they ask him to detain people for extra time.
August 06, 2012
Maricruz es madre y miembro de Puente en Arizona. Está una participante en la jornada por la justicia para levantar su voz, enseñar a todos los padres y todas las madres que hay que dejar a sus hijos como herencia que tienen que defender su respeto y dignidad.
Maricruz is a mother and member of Puente in Arizona. She's on the No Papers No Fear ride for justice to raise her own voice and call to all parents to leave their children an inheritance of defending their respect and dignity.
August 01, 2012
Tuesday July 31st of 2012 was our first day of activities in Denver Colorado, starting off early in the morning with a warm breakfast lovely made by some of the local members of the Unitarian Universalist Church, followed by a quick workshop presented by local community organizers, who explained the severity of a local anti-migrant law called SB 90, that has been around for about 6 years, this law works in the same fashion than section 2B of Arizona’s law SB 1070 which was approved by the supreme court.
July 28, 2012
They hope to expand on the activist role carved out by immigrants who were brought to the country as children, many of whom would be shielded from deportation under a policy enacted last month by the Obama administration. (Many of the riders on the bus are the parents of young people whose protests eventually spurred the administration’s action.)
“I’m running this risk because I want us to be respected, I want us to be recognized as the human beings that we are,” Maria Cruz Ramirez said at the party, where she sat before a makeshift stage, surrounded by other bus riders.
July 19, 2012
Maria Cruz Ramirez arrived in Phoenix, AZ with her three children just a few months before September 11, 2001 to be with her husband. She worked as a stylist in our own salon in Hidalgo, Mexico, and had hoped to have better opportunities for work in the U.S. She has been unable to find work for the last eleven years because she is undocumented. Two of her three children participated in a coming out of the shadows civil disobedience in Phoenix in March. She has been a member of the Arizona Dream Guardians, a group of parents of DREAM Act-eligible youth who fundraised for their children’s educations, and she hopes to start a new parents’ group in the future that is a community defense committee and a way to increase their children’s education opportunities. She says, “Me and my children, we give each other strength, and we struggle together. I’m going on the bus because I want a life with dignity and a just job for myself, for my family, and for my people. I fight for those who come after me.”