• Bio: Maria Cruz Ramirez

    Bio: Maria Cruz Ramirez

    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.”

    Read More »
  • Bio: Natally Cruz

    Bio: Natally Cruz

    Natally Cruz has made her home in Phoenix, AZ for the last 16 years, since she was seven years old.  She has been a part of the Puente Human Rights Movement for over two years, learning and educating others about the rights of undocumented people.  Over the same period of time, five members of her family have been harassed or detained by Arpaio and his collaborators. Her main motivation to fight for her community is her 7-year-old son.  She says, “We have to come out of the shadows just like the students did: we have to let people know that we are tired of being stepped on.  We are not scared anymore. Enough is enough.”

    Read More »
  • Bio: Leticia Ramirez

    Bio: Leticia Ramirez

    Leticia Ramirez lives in Phoenix, AZ.  She is a community organizer and health promoter with the Puente Human Rights Movement.  She came to the United States in 1994 when she was 9 years old because her father found better work here than he was able to in Mexico.  She has three U.S. citizen children, and watches her family and her community experience racial profiling every day.  She says, “I am a cake decorator and I can’t even find work doing what I like because I don’t have papers. I want to open the community’s eyes and show them what it looks like to not be afraid, to come out the shadows, and stand united.”

    Read More »
  • Bio: Miguel Guerra

    Miguel Guerra has lived in Phoenix, AZ, since 1998, with his wife and his three children. He works in construction, and has been a volunteer with the Puente Human Rights Movement since shortly after the passage of SB1070, when the organization helped him recover stolen wages from an employer. That same year, he was racially profiled and pulled over by Phoenix PD for an alleged traffic violation and had his car impounded, because as an undocumented immigrant he cannot get a driver’s license. He says that he is willing to take action and risk deportation for dignity. “We want to come out of the shadows.  We want President Obama to see that we are no longer afraid and that that we are demanding that he take action to solve our community’s problems.”

    Read More »
  • Bio: Isela "Chela" Meraz

    Bio: Isela

    Isela Meraz (Chela) has lived in Phoenix, AZ since 1991. Chela was 8 years old when she came to the US with her parents who wanted a better education and life for their family. She is active in the community, from organizing in the streets, participating in hunger strikes and spiritual fast, to organizing art shows for queer cultura, 3rdSpace, and working with PUENTE. This is Chela’s first time doing a civil disobedience action. “I’m doing this for my parents. For the sacrifice they made bringing me here. To let them know that the obstacle I have encountered are the system’s fault and not theirs. I want people to not be afraid anymore, to know that even though we are undocumented we have rights. We need to tell our stories with pride.”

    Read More »
  • Bio: Gerardo Torres

    Bio: Gerardo Torres

    Gerardo Torres is a self-employed handyman and community health promoter who has lived in Phoenix, AZ for the last 18 years, after staying after the time limit of a tourist visa.  He is a member of the Puente Human Rights Movement and 3rdSpace, a group of queer brown migrants working to make their community visible.  “I want people to know that the queer undocumented community is also affected by these laws.  I want people in my communities to let go of their fear and to learn how to defend their human rights. It is a time for a change in the immigration laws: the status quo is not an option anymore.  We have to move because we are in crisis, what is happening is not working anymore.

    Read More »
  • Bio: Eleazar Castellanos

    Bio: Eleazar Castellanos

    Eleazar Castellanos has lived in Tucson, AZ since 1996.  He studied computer programming and technical analysis in Nogales, Sonora, and moved to the U.S. when he completed his studies in order to have more economic opportunities for himself and his now-adult daughter.  He works as a day laborer, and has watched his wages fall dramatically as the economic crisis and anti-immigrant climate in Arizona worsen.  He watches people in his community be racially profiled by Border Patrol every day, and so, for the last year, he has been a member of a group of day laborers in Tucson organizing to fight for their rights.  He says, “I am going on the bus to come out of the shadows, to make the President hear our community’s voice, and so that we can move forward and make all of our lives better. We all deserve jobs with justice and dignity.”

    Read More »
  • Bio: Maria Jesus "Marichu" Rodriguez

    Bio: Maria Jesus

    Maria Jesus Rodriguez has lived in Phoenix for the past 17 years. In Tijuana, she worked as a social worker doing chronic disease prevention, but after not being able to find work, she brought her three children here to be closer to family and have more opportunities.  Keeping her family together, though, is not so straightforward in Arizona’s anti-immigrant climate: after her brother was picked up for a minor traffic violation in 2010, he was pressured to sign a self-deportation order while in Arpaio’s jail, and so is now separated from his U.S. citizen children and grandchildren. She currently works at a tire shop, and as a know-your-rights educator and community health promoter with Puente Arizona.   “An informed community is an armed community,” she says.  “It’s time for our community to be brave and lose our fear and come out of the shadows.  We are fighting for lives with dignity and justice and to be treated like human beings.”

    Read More »
  • Bio: Julio Cesar Sanchez

    Bio: Julio Cesar Sanchez

    Julio Cesar Sanchez lives in Chicago, IL and has been living in the U.S. for nine years. He came to the U.S. at the age of 15 with his mother after his parents’ divorce, despite a difficult border crossing. His mother sought to reunite with her family here and get away from a domestic violence situation.  He faced discrimination and bullying when he first arrived in Texas at school, and, while living in Florida, was put in jail for driving without a license.  These experiences made him decide to take action for his community.  He now organizes with the immigrant community in Chicago teaching people their rights. He says, “I’m riding the Undocubus to show myself, my family, and everyone else that is dealing with the same struggle I am that we can make a change. I believe it is time to end our fear.”

    Read More »
  • Bio: Angel Alvarez

    Bio: Angel Alvarez

    Angel Alvarez is 23-years-old, a self-identified undocu-queer, and currently lives in Phoenix, AZ.  He has been in the United States since he was one year old.  He has been involved in his community for many years, and is currently a part of Puente Human Rights Movement, 3rdSpace (a collective of queer migrants and people of color working on social justice issues in Phoenix), and the Association for Joterias Arts, Activism, and Scholarship. In 2010, he moved to New Mexico to go to college and get away from SB1070 and Arizona’s climate of hate; he was detained in NM and put in ICE custody.  He is currently fighting deportation, after recently being released from immigrant detention.  After this experience made him realize that Arizona had spread throughout the country, he returned to Phoenix to organize and defend his family and community.   He says, “I have experienced family separation and I don’t want anyone else to ever go through that.  That’s why I’m on the bus.”

    Read More »
Page 1 of 4 Next
Back to Top