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“No papers, no fear.” That is the slogan that is driving (so to speak) a group of undocumented immigrants and allies of different ages from Arizona to cities where there is heated anti-immigrant sentiment.
The group is calling out the injustices toward immigrants that have been taking place throughout the country, especially in states where there is anti-immigrant legislation, like Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama. They’re also sharing their stories so that others in a similar situation will feel empowered to tell their own stories.
The group left last night for Denver, Colorado, their first stop on the Undocubus tour. They will travel for the next month to different parts of the country and will end up in Charlotte, North Carolina — their final destination — in time for the Democratic National Convention. Along the way, they plan to engage in civil disobedience actions to alert the community about the inhumane ways in which immigrants are treated.
The group is strategically passing through states that have passed copycat anti-immigrant laws in order to educate and empower people to take action. They know that they are running the risk of getting arrested and even deported, which is why they are fundraising bail money along the way.
Daniela Cruz, an undocumented youth and activist from Arizona, got involved with the Undocubus Tour through Puente, an immigrant rights organization from Arizona. She feels excited about embarking on this journey.
“We’re excited to show people that we are not afraid. It feels different this time. We are painting the bus with the words: No papers, no fear. It’s going to strengthen our community,” she told me in an interview.
She recalled someone saying at their send-off party from the night before: “Normally buses separate families and deport them. This bus is strengthening our community.”
In Denver, they will speak to different organizations to learn about what is going on in their state, and they will also share what is going on in Arizona. On Wednesday night, they leave for New Mexico. The current plan is that every two to three days, the Undocubus will go to a different state.
A lot of this trip will be story sharing, and Cruz looks forward to meeting new people.
“It is so powerful to meet someone not from my home state [of Arizona]. It’s nice to know that they know what you’re going through. You can build relationships.”
Cruz also discusses how going on this tour is more than just fighting for undocumented youth, which is something she is used to as a DREAM activist.
“It’s bigger and deeper than that. It’s about all of the immigrant community.”
When asked if President Obama’s announcement changed anything for her, she said,
“It has pumped me up to keep going. We want more. Obama won the Latino vote with his announcement but he could have done more. He’s deported more people than anyone in history.”
On the positive results she’s seen after the announcement, she said,
“I’ve seen more people come out. That’s the only way we’re going to be safe.”