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  • Undocubus connects immigrants to civil rights legacy at DNC

    Undocubus connects immigrants to civil rights legacy at DNC

    The Undocubus, a busload of undocumented activists from Arizona, rode across the Deep South throughout the month of August to call attention to immigration policies that criminalize immigrants and separate families. The group arrived at the Democratic National Convention on Saturday, 48 years and eight presidential administrations after civil rights activists enacted a similar strategy in 1964.

    The legacy of the civil rights movement holds rich implications for contemporary struggles over immigrant rights. In the lead-up to the 1964 presidential election, organizers working in Mississippi hosted Freedom Summer, bringing hundreds of whites from across the nation to spend their summer living alongside blacks and registering them to vote in some of the most violent segregated towns in the South.

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  • ‘Undocubus’ immigrants released from jail; feds take no steps to deport them

    ‘Undocubus’ immigrants released from jail; feds take no steps to deport them

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. Ten undocumented immigrants who were arrested in a Charlotte protest Tuesday have been released from jail, and none have been referred for deportation, federal authorities say.

    “ICE has taken no enforcement action against the Ride for Justice activists arrested Tuesday in Charlotte,” said Vincent Picard, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    “ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States.”

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  • No Papers, No Fear: Risking Deportation at the DNC

    No Papers, No Fear: Risking Deportation at the DNC

    On the evening of Wednesday, August 15, the Democratic National Convention made history by inviting an undocumented immigrant to address the delegacy. Benita Veliz told the crowd how she came to the U.S. as a young child but lived with the knowledge that she could be deported at any time—until June 2012, when President Obama signed the DREAM Act, an executive order granting temporary residency status to thousands of children of immigrants. She praised Obama for his support of the Act, saying: “President Obama has fought for my community.”

    But just the previous day, a few blocks outside the convention center, a group of undocumented immigrants had used their bodies and voices to draw attention to what they say is Obama’s flawed and unjust immigration record. That record includes about 1.1 million deportations, more than any other president since the 1950s.

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  • Why did immigration officials release a group of undocumented activists arrested outside the DNC?

    Despite the threat of deportation, Julio Sánchez protested in Charlotte on Tuesday.

    After police arrested ten undocumented activists protesting outside the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, those arrested were turned over to federal immigration authorities.

    Hours later, however, the activists were released from custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    “ICE has taken no enforcement action against the Ride for Justice activists arrested Tuesday in Charlotte,” an ICE spokesperson told USA Today in a statement. “ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States.”

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  • Rosario Dawson Calls DNC Immigration Demonstrators ‘Soldiers of the Battle’ [Video]

    On Tuesday, actress Rosario Dawson, who had been at a nearby forum on immigration, walked over and showed her support for Undocubus demonstrators who traveled from Arizona to Charlotte to urge the Obama administration to stop criminalizing immigrant communities.

    “We really need to have better representation and that’s why we continue to have to keep seeing soldiers of the battle keep going down one by one until finally there is a critical mass to make a difference,” Dawson told reporters outside the DNC site where Undocubus members were demonstrating.

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  • DNC Protest Leads To Arrest Of 10 Undocumented Immigrants

    dnc protest
    The group made signs for undocumented immigrants to hold as they blocked the street.

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ten undocumented immigrants filed off a brightly-painted bus here on Tuesday and walked to an intersection across from the Time Warner Cable Arena, where the first speeches of the Democratic National Convention would be delivered hours later. They walked out into a busy intersection downtown, sat down with signs that read "undocumented," and refused to get up.

    Police quickly swarmed, surrounding the protesters from all sides as they stopped traffic. They didn't intervene, though, until an hour and a half later, even with the pouring rain. At first it looked like they might not disrupt the protest at all, but one of the protesters told an officer they wanted to be arrested to get their point across. After two warnings that they would be removed for impeding traffic, police stood the 10 protesters up one by one and put plastic zip ties around their hands. They led them to police vans to be taken to jail -- which, along with drawing the attention of passing convention-goers, was their goal.

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  • Undocumented Activists Arrested Outside DNC After Cross-Country Journey for Immigration Reform

    One of the first acts of civil disobedience at the Democratic National Convention took place Tuesday just outside the Time Warner Cable Center when a group of 10 undocumented activists rode into uptown Charlotte aboard the "No Papers, No Fear–Ride for Justice" bus and blocked traffic. The activists have been riding aboard the "UndocuBus" protesting the Obama administration’s immigration policies for the past six weeks. They took part in Tuesday’s protest knowing they could face deportation if arrested. Democracy Now! was there when the activists left the bus and marched to the site of the Democratic National Convention. We then spoke to Tania Unzueta, whose father, mother and sister were arrested during the action and possibly face deportation.

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  • Undocubus: A Journey From Arizona to the DNC [Video]

    In an action against President Obama’s immigration policies, 10 undocumented immigrants were arrested for civil disobedience in front of the gates to the Democratic National Convention yesterday evening. The 10 arrestees were riders on Undocubus, which made its way cross-country to Charlotte after leaving from Phoenix more than a month ago. After their arrest, immigration authorities questioned them in jail—but following an all-night call-in and petition campaign, all 10 were released this morning.

    I boarded Undocubus last week in Knoxville, Tennessee, and rode through the South to Charlotte, North Carolina to report for Colorlines.com and The Nation. In this reporter’s notebook, I document what it’s like to witness a modern-day ride for freedom and justice.

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  • Riders of the ‘UndocuBus’ Have ‘No Papers, No Fear’

    Monday night, the “UndocuBus,” with dozens of monarch butterflies painted on its side, sat in a parking lot in front of Skandalos, a Mexican restaurant/performance venue on the outskirts of Charlotte, displaying its slogan to any late-night passersby: "No Papers, No Fear." Inside the club, Los Jornaleros del Norte (Day Laborers of the North) played cumbia tunes to the undocumented immigrants who have been traveling the country on the bus. Los Jornaleros are aptly named. The band members met on a street corner where they waited to be picked up and employed for the day, and started playing instruments together as a way to pass the time.

    Standing on a corner waiting for work has become much more dangerous in the age of Arizona’s SB 1070 “Papers Please” immigration law, and its legislative cousins throughout the country. What recourse do the country’s 117,000 day laborers have against harassment, brutality and wage theft?

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  • Rosario Dawson Gets Political Outside DNC

    Roario Dawson holding Undocumented Banner above head

    Hollywood actress Rosario Dawson turned activist on Tuesday, joining a score of protestors in Charlotte, North Carolina; the group protested outside the Democratic National Convention on behalf of illegal immigration reform .

    The actress joined several undocumented immigrants in shouting, “No Papers, No Fear!” Then the Men in Black II star grabbed a sign reading “undocumented,” and held it above her head.

    At least 10 protestors were arrested, prompting Rosario to grab a megaphone and shout, “That’s what it takes … For all of you who just got arrested, I want to commend your bravery. Things will change. We are here with you.”

    Rosario Dawson is of Afro-Puerto Rican, Afro-Cuban, Irish American and Native American descent.

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  • Puente's "Undocubus" Riders Arrested Outside Democratic National Convention

    Puente's

    Undocumented immigrants who rode across country on the "Undocubus" to protest immigration-related deportations were arrested outside the Democratic National Convention yesterday.

    The "No Papers No Fear" mission is supposed to make the point that Dems are as unfavorable to the "Undocubus" riders as Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio when it comes to immigration enforcement.

    According to our New York sister paper, the Village Voice, the activists were dropped off in a Charlotte intersection, and sat on a banner in the intersection while holding up signs that said "Undocumented."

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  • No Papers, No Fear: Undocumented Immigrant Activists Arrested Outside DNC

    No Papers, No Fear: Undocumented Immigrant Activists Arrested Outside DNC

    An immigrants rights campaign is traveling the U.S. by bus to bring awareness to the terror undocumented people live with daily.

    Ten undocumented immigrants were arrested on Tuesday afternoon outside the Democratic National Convention, amid chants of “Undocumented, unafraid!” and “No papers, no fear!”

    Around 3:30pm, several dozen activists marched to the corner of East 5th and College Street in Charlotte, North Carolina, just blocks from where the DNC was being held, and blocked the intersection to protest President Obama's deportation policy. They unfurled a banner that read “Sin Papeles, Sin Miedo” ("no papers, no fear") laid it on the street, and began chanting, singing and telling their stories. Within the hour, 10 undocumented people were taken into police custody. They were released Wednesday morning with a charge of impeding traffic, a misdemeanor. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official was contacted about the case, but decided not to pursue steps toward deportation.

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  • Immigrant Protestors Arrested at the DNC, Feat. Rosario Dawson

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- Ten undocumented protesters were arrested outside the Time Warner Cable convention center, September 4, 2012, where the Democratic National Convention is being held. The protest was put on by an organization called, Undocumented and Unafraid, and featured a bus tour from Phoenix, AR, to Charlotte, NC.

    Protesters were surrounded by police in pouring rain as supporters and reporters looked on. The event never turned violent and the ten arrested protesters were taken away in vans.

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