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.
Arizona Awaits Next SB 1070 'Papers Please' Ruling, UndocuBus Rallies Undocumented Mothers Across Country
August 23, 2012
"I am mother and I am undocumented and I am not afraid," Ramirez, a mother of three young children, told me in a phone interview today, as the 30-plus modern-day freedom riders entered Georgia, on the heels of the 11th Circuit Court's strike down of that state's Arizona copycat immigration.
"I have heard so many stories from other mothers," Ramirez said, an 18-year resident of Arizona, who was brought to the United States from Mexico as a child. "They are inspired by our journey, and tell me that they have been inspired to come out of the shadows, and this encourages me to keep going."