UndocuBus reaches Memphis on the eve of Deferred Action Day; helps locals “come out of the shadows”
Volunteer Alex Ortiz (R) explaining deferred action to attendees such as Alexandra Olvera (L).
National immigration reform activists joined local groups in Memphis Tuesday to honor those who had come out publicly as undocumented.
About 200 Latinos turned out to a shopping center parking lot to celebrate riders of the UndocuBus and others who had come out.
The event served to both promote local organizations and their campaigns and to elevate the “No Papers, No Fear” national campaign.
Along its tour, the UndocuBus has been partnering with local organizations to provide support and trainings, but also to tap local networks as they travel across the country hoping to generate more momentum and capacity through participating in events like these.
Local activists have turned to the UndocuBus to increase local participation, draw more attention to particular political campaigns and other support such as trainings.
Its a strategy directed by the UndocuBus.
“As far a strategy, the best way to engage is local. Washington D.C. is stagnant,” said Marisa Franco, who coordinates with local organizations for the national tour.
“[It’s important] that local organizing take place so they can affect change in their own backyards.”
A variety of music, theater and poetry were used as popular education tools for the local community. Free Literature, health screenings and food were provided.
The “No papers, no fear” campaign is on its way to the National Democratic Convention.
Dozens came to learn more about deferred action.
Alexandra Olvera, 20, wanted to know what documentation she needed and how to get it.
The Mexican citizen learned she needed to obtain her passport, school records and medical records for proof that she had been in the country for the past 5 years.
Today was Olvera’s first day at school as a senior. She had decided to drop out of school until she learned about the new immigration program.
Saidi Falcon (L) with Erika Lopez (R) at “No Papers, No Fear” event.
(Photo: Albert Sabaté)