Skip to comments.The Undocumented Bus: In Charlotte, A Different Kind Of Coming Out
Posted on 09/03/2012 4:53:24 PM PDT by Drango
The bus is always the center of attention. Partly because it's a hulking 1970s tour bus that somehow made it from Arizona all the way to Charlotte, but mostly because of what's inscribed on the side of it in thick, black letters.
"Sin Papeles, Sin Miedo," it reads in Spanish. "No papers, no fear."
Carrying a bunch of undocumented activists, the bus rolled through the country, through states like Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, and into Charlotte on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.
The activists participated in a march that snaked through Charlotte on Sunday and by Monday, they had moved to a church that was hosting them about eight miles from the city.
That's where I met 21-year-old Fernando López. He came to country illegally when he was in his teens. He came to the U.S. to reunite with his brother, whom he had not seen in 10 years. But then he was stopped for a traffic violation in Arizona, ended up in jail and with deportation orders.
"This bus," he said, "is just a bit of civil disobedience." It's a bold statement for sure. The "no papers, no fear" refrain emerged from the activists fighting the stringent anti-immigration laws that were first passed in Arizona.
If you remember, it was in June of last year that Jose Antonio Vargas, a prominent journalist, came out as an illegal immigrant in a splashy New York Times Magazine piece. That propelled a generation of young immigrants, who were educated in the United States to declare publicly that they were in the country illegally. It put pressure on the White House and earlier this summer, Obama announced that he was ordering a stop to the deportation of some young immigrants.
This bus tour called the Undocu-Bus is a kind of culmination of the movement.
"We have been traveling like this for over a month and we have gotten a lot of attention and I think we're showing that we have no fear," he said. "As one writer said, 'When we lose fear, they lose their power.' They can't really intimidate us anymore."
López walks into the bus. It's incredibly hot. Within minutes, there's sweat running down his forehead. He walks through it showing it off like a proud parent. "Priscila" is her name, he says. There are four small couches and toward the back there's a fridge that doesn't work and a stove that doesn't work. López says the six-week cross-country trek has been uncomfortable at times but it's doing its job, bringing attention to an issue that he says comes up every election cycle, but never gets addressed.
"Were not here to beg or to ask, like we have been doing for many years for immigration reform," he said. "We're here to put an option to President Obama on the table, which is to be on the right side of history." Maria Cruz Ramírez, 46, rode on the Undo-bus for six weeks.
Maria Cruz Ramírez, 46, was also on the bus. She said that in the past, she would reveal her legal status quietly. But increasingly aggressive laws in different states, she said, have made her more vocal.
She has three kids, two of them college age, all of the undocumented. She says along the way, she's learned a lot about organizing and mobilizing a community. She said they met with some black civil rights leaders and in some ways that helps explains the new, uncompromising message they're sending with this bus tour.
Ramírez certainly uses the arguments that immigration reform proponents have used for years. She says that immigrants come to the United States to work and all she wants is a "dignified existence."
But, when I ask her if she's not afraid that by riding on that bus she might end up deported to her native Mexico, she gives a firm response.
"No," she said. "I'm not scared, because this is a question of human rights."
She points to the bus. Along with the refrain, the group painted monarch butterflies. Like many of the people in the group, Ramírez is also wearing a monarch butterfly pin.
The butterflies have become their symbol, because every year they trek from the United States to Mexico, unimpeded by borders or policy.
But they need picture ID’s to get into the DNC Convention Center.
Of course they have no fear. Why should they? We’ve allowed them to waltz into our country, we’ve given them benefits galore, they’ve brazenly protested, given interviews to the media with their names and pictures and generally rubbed our noses in it, and we haven’t done a darned thing about it.
What’s even worse we will not do anything to deport them.
They are right there they admit they are not legal right inour President’s face and he does nothing
An impeachable offense.
He is sworn by his Inaugural opath to defend the laws of this country, and is not only not abiding by that oath , but he is changing those laws to suit himself, in violation of his oath and the Constitution.
Why should these people be afraid, They knew before they got on the bus that nothing would be done.
...which matches the Democrat's preferred type of illegal immigrants perfectly.
Yes they get more in food stamps,welfare check,and free rent than most people net out from working....the more kids the larger the apartment and the more of every thing...tax free..at leasr to them
There are obviously no good right wing Cuban immigrants on board because if there were, the fridge would work, the stove would work, and the bus would not only function like a trooper, it would be fully amphibious to boot.
We do NOTHING about these LAWBREAKERS. This country needs a lot of Wyatt Earps to undo what has taken place.
If we stand by and do nothing, we will get what we deserve.
No of these illegals work, how are they paying for all their food, hotel rooms, etc,etc ?
What can be done? The DOJ, DHS, and ICE would come down on anyone "doing something" in a heartbeat.
She has three kids, two of them college age, all of them undocumented. She says along the way, she's learned a lot about organizing and mobilizing a community. She said they met with some black civil rights leaders and in some ways that helps explains the new, uncompromising message they're sending with this bus tour.
I remember a time when illegals were afraid to come out and say they were criminals, now they just waltz out and rub our noses in it. If I were INS I would get right on board that bus and deport all their asses back where they came from
No longer... They are IN YOUR FACE & proud of our cowardly politicians who are scared to do anything about it for fear of being called a “racist”!
I am sick to death of these people. Lawbreakers. GO the he## back from where you came, and if you want to come back, go through the gate next time. Wait your freakin’ turn, obey our laws, stay out of our election process unless or until you become a legal citizen and shut the heck up.
“She says along the way, she’s learned a lot about organizing and mobilizing a community. She said they met with some black civil rights leaders and in some ways that helps explains the new, uncompromising message they’re sending with this bus tour.”
Ah yes, picking up cues from the black liberation marxists, no doubt.
ENGLISH, PLEASE. THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!
the usual illegal alien invader crap....sure as the sun rises
“This bus,” he said, “is just a bit of civil disobedience.”
Uh, no, Lopez. Civil disobedience is what legal citizens may engage in; you are just committing an invasion. So sick of it!
Writer of this atrociously written piece needs to take an English course of her own.
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