UndocuBus: Taking a cross-country ride for immigration reform
The UndocuBus tour for immigration reform left from Arizona on Sunday.
Late on Sunday night, about three dozen immigration activists set out from Arizona on a six-week bus tour to place immigration reform at the top of the political agenda in the national conversation. Like the freedom rides challenging racial segregation in the South during the civil rights movement, the UndocuBus will draw attention to broken national and state immigration policies.
Many of these activists have come out as undocumented for this tour. Last Tuesday, four of them were arrested in Phoenix outside the racial profiling trail of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, he of the anti-immigrant movement.
Supporter gives encouragement saying she offers her heart and prayers to the cause.
The struggle and fear of living undocumented has led activists to undertake this campaign and encourage others in their struggles. “No papers, no fear” is the motto for the campaign, supported by a coalition of immigrant rights groups — including the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
From Colorado and Alabama to Texas and Tennessee, the six-week, 10-state tour will provoke anti-immigrant counties and states and pressure for national immigration reform along its way to the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina in September.
But as a New York Times editorial put it:
A few more immigrants have now chosen to come out of the shadows. It is impossible to know how many of the 10 million to 12 million undocumented might dare to do the same. And while each and every one of them deserves a chance to get right with the law, one provocative bus trip may well seem like a voyage to nowhere, given the dismal state of Congress and the low odds of immigration reform.
The UndocuBus may have unwittingly foreshadowed its journey in a recent tweet saying “a storm awaits as bus rider delegations […]” — including this photo (below).
a storm awaits as bus rider delegation arrives to Denver, Colorado instagr.am/p/NuK0mXt7BQ/— Undocu-Bus (@UndocuBus) July 30, 2012
How will the activists and our politics weather the storm?