September 01, 2012
After 10 states and more than fifteen cities, we will arrive in Charlotte, North Carolina today.
The city is the home to one of the biggest promoters of the 287(g) deportation program. It will be host to the Democratic National Convention. And it is the place that people like Isaide Serrano, a pregnant mother of five and member of La Familia Unida who faces deportation court on Tuesday, live their lives.
Charlotte is also the site of our last week of the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice.
While the immigrant community and our friends have opened their doors wide to welcome us, County Commissioners Bill James and Jim Pendergraph have tried to do the opposite. In hearing about our pending arrival, James introduced a proposal to investigate students' immigration status in Mecklenburg County.
The bill was handily voted down but what's happening in Charlotte is a microcosm of our whole journey. A city with so much potential, being held back by the backward prejudice of hateful politicians and propelled forward by good people working for change. It's a town like every town, tangled in immigration policies and trying to decide between exclusion and inclusion.
We're showing up to support Charlotte and the nation in turning that tide from hate to human rights. We'll meet with groups resisting deportation to reach a new level of organizing and we'll continue to risk everything to inspire officials to do more. We'll be marching against Wall Street South on Sunday, celebrating our culture on Monday, and rallying throughout next week.
When we started in Arizona we showed we were no longer afraid. In Birmingham, we showed that it's no longer acceptable to talk about about us without us. In Knoxville, our oldest and youngest riders stood up to the spread of the deportation machine. After so many stops, we've seen that today's immigration policies are causing a nation-wide human rights crisis and we've met migrant communities ready and strong enough to stop it.
Starting tonight, we'll bring all of that with us to Charlotte.