September 21, 2012
A growing number of undocumented immigrants in Arizona and other states are taking immigration protests to a new extreme, staging acts of civil disobedience by deliberately getting arrested in order to be turned over to federal immigration officials.
Often wearing T-shirts declaring themselves "undocumented and unafraid," the protesters have sat down in streets and blocked traffic, or occupied buildings in several cities including Phoenix and Tucson.
Dozens of protesters have been arrested, but in almost every case, federal immigration officers have declined to deport those in the country illegally. Protesters say they are planning more acts of civil disobedience, including possibly in Phoenix.
The acts are intended to openly defy stepped-up immigration enforcement that has led to record deportations over the past three years.
August 07, 2012
Although I’ve been involved in activism in my state and around the country, it has always been with other undocumented young people, specifically those fighting for the DREAM Act, and have focused on the experience of Arizona. Being on the bus has been a new experience for me, because besides getting to know the laws that are taking place in other states, I have had the chance to talk to undocumented people who are older than me, who have had different experiences, and who are coming out for the first time in their lives.
July 19, 2012
Daniela Cruz has lived in Phoenix for 10 years, although she was born in Mexico city. She traveled to the United States with her mother two days before her 11th birthday. Although it took her some time, she eventually began feeling that Arizona was her home. She grew up noticing fear of immigration and police by her family. One year, when her mother heard that Sheriff Joe Arpaio was going to be around her school, she stopped driving Daniela there, did not let her go outside, and almost made her change schools. Four years ago her brother’s partner was arrested for a minor traffic violation. He had a 3 week-old daughter. In September 2010 she began to get involved in the passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Although she stepped away from organizing for a few months, she came back by participating in the first civil disobedience by undocumented students to take place in Phoenix, Arizona. She participated because she was tired of seeing her community scared and hiding, and believes organizing is the best way to fight against that fear. She is on the bus for the same reason, she explains, “if you organize your community, people don’t have to get deported, families don’t have to be separated.”