• An Undocubus Sketchbook

    Here’s a dispatch from CultureStrike artist Julio Salgado from the Undocubus, which last week made a big splash at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  His images speak to the sense of solidarity and pride that the campaign seeded in all the participants, which they took home with them as the bus rolled out. All drawings by Julio Salgado.

    As we exited El Siloe Church’s gym in Charlotte, N.C. to hop on the UndocuBus for one last time as a group, the humid rain seemed like an emotional prop to our undocumented goodbyes. After weeks of speaking out, civil disobedience, and hanging out together, UndocuBus riders were finally saying goodbye.

    Soaking wet, riders shared their most vivid memories of the entire trip. Tears were shed and jokes told. Each of us wondering about what just happened and what was next. Sitting with all these amazing individuals, it was hard not to see myself spending endless hours together on church floors, planning the next actions.

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  • Undocumented immigrants push Obama to realise their American Dream

    Undocumented immigrants push Obama to realise their American Dream

    Immigrant rights activists have succeeded in putting stalled immigration reform back on the agenda, but they're not done yet

    "We are here to ask President Obama what his legacy will be," Rosi Carrasco said as she climbed down from the "UndocuBus", colorfully painted with butterflies, that the activists traveled in from Arizona.

    "What we want to say to President Obama is, on which side of the history is he going to be? Is he going to be remembered as the president that has been deporting the most people in US history, or he is going to be on the side of immigrants?"

    Rosi's husband, Martin Unzueta, said:

    "I am undocumented. I've been living here for 18 years. I pay taxes, and I'm paying more taxes than Citibank."

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  • Familia de Chicago se arriesga a la deportación en la Convención Demócrata

    Mientras delegados participaban en la Convención Nacional Demócrata(DNC), miembros de una familia de Chicago se arriesgaron a la deportación tras participar en una protesta.

    Martín Unzueta, Rosi Carrasco, su hija Ireri Unzueta Carrasco y miembros de la gira por autobús “Sin Papeles, Sin Miedo – Gira por la Justicia” fueron arrestados tras bloquear una avenida cerca de donde se lleva a cabo la convención de los demócratas, en Charlotte, Carolina del Norte.

    La familia Unzueta, conocida por su activismo en Chicago, participaba en la gira que empezó protesta por la política migratoria del presidente Barack Obama, que algunos indican ha sido el presidente que más personas a deportado.

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  • ‘Undocubus’ immigrants released from jail; feds take no steps to deport them

    ‘Undocubus’ immigrants released from jail; feds take no steps to deport them

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. Ten undocumented immigrants who were arrested in a Charlotte protest Tuesday have been released from jail, and none have been referred for deportation, federal authorities say.

    “ICE has taken no enforcement action against the Ride for Justice activists arrested Tuesday in Charlotte,” said Vincent Picard, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    “ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States.”

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  • Video: Undocubus – A Journey From Arizona to the DNC 2012

    In an action against President Obama’s immigration policies, 10 undocumented immigrants were arrested for civil disobedience in front of the gates to the Democratic National Convention yesterday evening. The 10 arrestees were riders on Undocubus, which made its way cross-country to Charlotte after leaving from Phoenix more than a month ago. After their arrest, immigration authorities questioned them in jail—but following an all-night call-in and petition campaign, all 10 were released this morning.

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  • Undocumented People Arrested in Civil Disobedience Watch President's Speech, Announce Next Steps After President's Speech, Call on DNC to Be on Right Side of History, End Merger of Police with Immigration Enforcement

    More than 40 people, mainly undocumented, travelled on the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice through 10 states and 16 cities to arrive at the DNC where 10 undocumented participants performed civil disobedience that could have resulted in their deportation due to the Police/ICE collaboration programs that were the focus of their protest.

    All arrestees were released instead of being placed in deportation proceedings, confirming the message riders have set out to express through the tour: the migrant community is stronger and safer when organized and out of the shadows.

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  • No Papers, No Fear: Risking Deportation at the DNC

    No Papers, No Fear: Risking Deportation at the DNC

    On the evening of Wednesday, August 15, the Democratic National Convention made history by inviting an undocumented immigrant to address the delegacy. Benita Veliz told the crowd how she came to the U.S. as a young child but lived with the knowledge that she could be deported at any time—until June 2012, when President Obama signed the DREAM Act, an executive order granting temporary residency status to thousands of children of immigrants. She praised Obama for his support of the Act, saying: “President Obama has fought for my community.”

    But just the previous day, a few blocks outside the convention center, a group of undocumented immigrants had used their bodies and voices to draw attention to what they say is Obama’s flawed and unjust immigration record. That record includes about 1.1 million deportations, more than any other president since the 1950s.

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  • DNC Protest Leads To Arrest Of 10 Undocumented Immigrants

    dnc protest
    The group made signs for undocumented immigrants to hold as they blocked the street.

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ten undocumented immigrants filed off a brightly-painted bus here on Tuesday and walked to an intersection across from the Time Warner Cable Arena, where the first speeches of the Democratic National Convention would be delivered hours later. They walked out into a busy intersection downtown, sat down with signs that read "undocumented," and refused to get up.

    Police quickly swarmed, surrounding the protesters from all sides as they stopped traffic. They didn't intervene, though, until an hour and a half later, even with the pouring rain. At first it looked like they might not disrupt the protest at all, but one of the protesters told an officer they wanted to be arrested to get their point across. After two warnings that they would be removed for impeding traffic, police stood the 10 protesters up one by one and put plastic zip ties around their hands. They led them to police vans to be taken to jail -- which, along with drawing the attention of passing convention-goers, was their goal.

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  • Undocumented Activists Arrested Outside DNC After Cross-Country Journey for Immigration Reform

    One of the first acts of civil disobedience at the Democratic National Convention took place Tuesday just outside the Time Warner Cable Center when a group of 10 undocumented activists rode into uptown Charlotte aboard the "No Papers, No Fear–Ride for Justice" bus and blocked traffic. The activists have been riding aboard the "UndocuBus" protesting the Obama administration’s immigration policies for the past six weeks. They took part in Tuesday’s protest knowing they could face deportation if arrested. Democracy Now! was there when the activists left the bus and marched to the site of the Democratic National Convention. We then spoke to Tania Unzueta, whose father, mother and sister were arrested during the action and possibly face deportation.

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  • Undocubus: A Journey From Arizona to the DNC [Video]

    In an action against President Obama’s immigration policies, 10 undocumented immigrants were arrested for civil disobedience in front of the gates to the Democratic National Convention yesterday evening. The 10 arrestees were riders on Undocubus, which made its way cross-country to Charlotte after leaving from Phoenix more than a month ago. After their arrest, immigration authorities questioned them in jail—but following an all-night call-in and petition campaign, all 10 were released this morning.

    I boarded Undocubus last week in Knoxville, Tennessee, and rode through the South to Charlotte, North Carolina to report for Colorlines.com and The Nation. In this reporter’s notebook, I document what it’s like to witness a modern-day ride for freedom and justice.

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