No Papers, No Fear Ride Stops in Mississippi


Listen to the report on Mississippi Public Broadcasting

A group of undocumented immigrants is traveling across the nation in hopes of fighting legislation aimed at workers who aren't in the country legally. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how the group spent the weekend in Mississippi trying to gain support.
About 30 immigrants are bussing through Mississippi. They say they have no papers and no fear, and they're headed to the Democratic National Convention. Angel Alvarez moved to the U.S. when he was one year old, and wants to see laws like the one in his home state of Arizona, changed.
"We're all a community and we're all a part of it and, like me, for example, I've lived here my whole life. This is my country. I don't want to go back. I don't know anything out there so I don't want to go back."
An immigration reform law similar to Arizona's failed in the Mississippi legislature earlier this year, but it's likely to return during next year's session. Bill Chandler is Executive Director of the Mississippi Immigrant's Rights Alliance.
"Undocumented people have been so pushed back into the shadows to the extent that they're so vulnerable. To turn around and stand up is reminiscent of the sit-ins that occurred on Capitol Street in the early 1960s."
Some of the riders like Fernando Lopez are currently facing deportation. He hopes to start a movement and see those policies changed.
"One purpose is to go ask the President, but also start demanding and organizing the community so we can build a bigger movement. Then we're going to be able to achieve something."
The riders are on their way to Memphis today, and will eventually go to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention early next month.



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