July 19, 2012
Maria Huerta, 65, was born in Mexico and has lived in the United States for 35 years. She has lived in California for the last 15 years with her 4 children. She works with the organization Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Women United and Active, where she fights for the rights of domestic workers and the empowerment of women for the last 13 years, including as the president of the organization’s Board of Directors. As an undocumented immigrant she has also been a long-time community organizer instrumental in building support for the California Bill of Rights Campaign. She is a powerful speaker and has facilitated know-your-rights presentations and workshops on domestic violence, sexual assault, and immigrant rights. She is coming out and speaking about her life because she is tired of hiding and of seeing the abuses that immigrant communities face. Her inspiration for participating on the bus tour is the hope that her actions will lead to people knowing more about the lives of undocumented immigrants, even if she has to risk deportation. While on the bus, Maria has participated in two direct actions, one in Birmingham, Alabama, where she risked arrest interrupting author of SB 1070 Kris Kobach’s testimony at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she was arrested during a peaceful protest for blocking the street.