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Vol. 76/No. 33      September 10, 2012

UndocuBus tours South
for ‘Jobs, justice, dignity’
ATLANTA—Nearly 100 people greeted the “No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice” at a rally and press conference Aug. 24 at the Atlanta Detention Center, an immigration jail here.

Some 30 undocumented workers and youth are traveling on the “UndocuBus” across the southern U.S. to organize opposition to the deportations and firings of undocumented workers that are being carried out by the Barack Obama administration and against state anti-immigrant laws passed over the last several years. The bus began its trip in Phoenix Aug. 1.

“I am on the bus to help give people courage to come out of the shadows and to show the human face of who we are,” Alejandro Guizar, 19, who joined the ride in Memphis, Tenn., told the Militant at the Plaza Fiesta Mall Aug. 25 where 150 Latino workers and youth gathered to hear him speak.

UndocuBus riders have traveled through Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, joining protests along the way. The trip will end in Charlotte, N.C., at the Democratic National Convention.

“We deserve jobs with justice and dignity,” rider Eleazar Castellanos, 45, told the Militant. A day laborer in Arizona, he has been unable to get other employment due to the federal E-Verify program that companies use to check work status of applicants before hiring.

“In Hoover, Ala., we met with day laborers who were facing harassment from police and landlords,” Castellanos said. “We held a protest and the workers there gained confidence and are now organizing a workers center.”

Just a few days before the bus arrived here, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld sections of anti-immigrant laws passed last year in Georgia and Alabama that allow police to verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect is “illegal.”

Speakers at the Atlanta Detention Center rally included bus riders, local church groups and the Atlanta chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. They decried the Aug. 20 ruling.

The court struck down other aspects of the anti-immigrant legislation, including provisions of the Alabama law that would have made it a crime for undocumented immigrants to apply for a job and for immigrants to be without their documents on their person, and requiring public schools to verify the status of students and their parents.

“I know that it will be a relief to be able to work legally and have a driver’s license, but it is temporary,” Nataly Cruz, 22, from Phoenix, said on the group’s website referring to the Obama administration’s decision to grant “deferred action”—a temporary reprieve from deportation—to some people.

“I also think about my sisters, cousins, my mom and my dad who still have no rights in this country. That is why I’m on the bus, and why I will continue to work for just and permanent solutions,” she said.

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Related articles:
‘Undocumented and unafraid,’ immigrant youth line up across US
Communist League candidate in Australia defends asylum-seekers
Australian gov’t reopens offshore detention camps
Legalize undocumented workers!  
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