'No Papers, No Fear' Justice Ride Arrives to Denver to Show In Solidarity With Colorado's Undocumented Immigrants
July 29, 2012
National delegation of undocumented immigrants, make first stop in Colorado to deliver their message of courage and support. The national ride began in Phoenix, Arizona, and aims to deliver a message of courage and support for New Americans mobilizing against Colorado’s granddaddy of all ‘Show me your papers’ laws, SB-90.
What: Press Conference
When: Tuesday July 31st, at 11:00 AM
Where: The Colorado State Capitol Building, 200 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado
Why: Denver, CO — Tuesday July 31st, a group of undocumented immigrants and supporters will arrive in Denver, Colorado to join Colorado worker and immigrant organizations for their first stop of the ‘No Papers, No Fear Ride for Justice.’
The group arrives following the first event of the tour in Phoenix, Arizona – a protest against Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio's racial profiling, where four undocumented Arizonans were arrested during a peaceful civil disobedience outside of his trial. The four were released, calling for Aspiring Americans to challenge fear and organize against those that promote anti-immigrant policies locally and nationally.
On Tuesday, local community organizations and supporters will welcome the riders with a rally in front of the Colorado State Capitol, highlighting the effects of racial profiling laws like Arizona’s SB-1070 and Colorado’s own SB-90, on immigrant communities. Both bills entangle local police in federal immigration enforcement leading to racial profiling, violations of civil rights, and loss of trust in law enforcement. Advocates from around the country, including Arizona, will be sharing their experiences in organizing against these laws, and how they have begun to lose fear as undocumented immigrants.
"When we fear those who want to attack us for who we are, we give them more power," Explains Natally Cruz, a No Papers No Fear Rider from Arizona. "When we lose our fear, that's when they lose their power as well."
Actions by undocumented students, such as coming out of the shadows events and civil disobedience actions, have demonstrated the power and results of communities acting and speaking for themselves. The riders are undocumented poeple from all over the country and their allies, including mothers, fathers, day laborers, people in deportation proceedings, students, and many others who continue to face threats of deportation, harassment, and death while simply looking for a better life in the only nation many of them know and call home.
More information on the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice is at www.nopapersnofear.org, and follow @undocubus on twitter for updates. Selected bios of participants for the No Papers No Fear Justice Ride attached below.
Selected Biographies of No Papers No Fear Justice Ride
Fernando Lopez Sanchez knows what it is like to be in an immigration detention center. Last summer he was turned over to immigration authorities in Phoenix, Arizona after being pulled over, and after he could not present a Driver’s License. He says that while he was in detention he experienced the psychological abuse that undocumented detainees go through. “They made me feel like a criminal, like I was not worth more than a piece of paper.” He was able to get out of detention after support from the community and organizations like Puente Human Rights Movement. He is traveling on the bus, and taking the risk of being targeted once again by immigration authorities “to promote self determination of communities, to expose abuses in detention centers for migrants, and to bring justice for families.”
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.”
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.