• Migrants across U.S. taking protests to defiant new level

    A growing number of undocumented immigrants in Arizona and other states are taking immigration protests to a new extreme, staging acts of civil disobedience by deliberately getting arrested in order to be turned over to federal immigration officials.

    Often wearing T-shirts declaring themselves "undocumented and unafraid," the protesters have sat down in streets and blocked traffic, or occupied buildings in several cities including Phoenix and Tucson.

    Dozens of protesters have been arrested, but in almost every case, federal immigration officers have declined to deport those in the country illegally. Protesters say they are planning more acts of civil disobedience, including possibly in Phoenix.

    The acts are intended to openly defy stepped-up immigration enforcement that has led to record deportations over the past three years.

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  • In Defense of Civil Protest

    Yet, regardless of one's position on the broad issue of immigration, No Papers, No Fear should give us pause.

    Arizona is not a great place for people without papers right now, said Fernando, "...and those who stayed, stayed to resist and fight back." With no elected officials to represent them and the threat of possible deportation looming, these people decided to board a bus and ride hundreds of miles across the country so that others like them might be a little less afraid to drive to work, a few members of the press might give a brief nod to their daily hardships, and they can publically declare themselves fully part of the United States after living here for many years. They boarded the bus because they have no advocacy tools other than their voices, despite the very real risk that their actions would result in arrest, jail time, or deportation.

    If Miguel were to become an American citizen, he would want to own his own business, he said. If his deportation case moves forward, he will leave behind 14 years of his life, a wife, and three kids, two of whom were born in the United States. For him, coming to the DNC was less of a choice than a final gesture of hope that democracy can actually work, that defending a belief peacefully, publically, and at serious personal risk can change our policies.

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  • The Meaning of the Mariposa (butterfly). A symbol for all.

    Migrantjulio pin

    The butterfly is a symbol of freedom as old as the glyphs in Cesar Maxit's "Migrant" poster. 

    It became the symbol of our tour organically, naturally. As we travelled, it kept showing up in new ways.  In Memphis we received a care package from Juliana in Phoenix with butterfly pins for each of us to wear, next to our hearts, for strength, even when we were carted off to jail.

    When we confronted Kris Kobach in Birmingham, we released real butterflies with us. We demanded our inclusion at a hearing about us and we shamed him with our presence and overshadowed him with our testimony.

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  • Letter to My Mother

    Letter to My Mother

    In a letter to his mother, undocumented and queer writer Marco Flores describes his recent ride on the UndocuBus—and overcoming fear through art, activism, and community solidarity.



    Tengo tiempo sin escribir. I’ve put off writing to you for several weeks now. As I write, I regret not staying up to admire the light of the blue moon from a few nights ago. All I was able to write were two laborious lines for the moon goddess, Coyolxauhqui. There is something about the moonlight that gives me the strength to answer the question that haunts me most—why does writing about being undocumented feel so unnatural to me?

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  • 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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  • Word Association with Comedy Central

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  • Comedy Central Meets Undocubus

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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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  • 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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