Stand up, fight back!
When our families are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back! This was the sentiment of the day, on Friday July 10, when hundreds of immigrants and allies from all over the country marched in support of deferred action for undocumented parents and young people.
That Friday, so important to our movement, was when arguments would be heard at the Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, about the injunction on the start of deferred action programs.
It was inspiring to see so many people, not just immigrants, walk and withstand the tremendous heat in New Orleans. There was a profound feeling of sisterhood/brotherhood, between immigrant families affected and allies who though do not face the same obstacles traveled to support their immigrant brothers and sisters.
For us from North Carolina, our journey started in Charlotte. After weeks of planning and recruiting, we traveled on July 9th to New Orleans, with a bus full of powerful leaders from our community, with hopes and hearts full of love and ready for the fight in defense of our families.
On the way to New Orleans, each family shared their story and why they left their daily lives to travel so far for a march. Maura Trejo's family opened a business, that creates jobs and stimulates the local economy. According to Maura, "the fact that we don't have papers has not kept us from succeeding. We found a way to grow and we just want to give back to the country that has afforded us so many opportunities."
María de Jesús Álvarez traveled, "because ICE took away my son and I don't want any other mother to feel this pain. As a mother, I worry about my children's safety. My son is a good person who was ripped from his family for unjust reasons."
Our team did not just attend and participate in the event. Our champions helped run the activities. Some of our members actively participated as marshals and as speakers. Some of our leaders even managed to enter the court to listen to arguments.
One of our stars was Israel Sanchez, only 5 years old and a champion for his community. He took hold of the megaphone and chanted with so much heart that everyone present elected him as their chant leader and followed him.
On our way back to North Carolina, sisters Rosalinda and María Elena Galván shared their thoughts, saying that "this was our first trip of this sort. We were a little scared, because we did not know what to expect. Thanks to this experience, we feel more powerful and know we can win!" Everyone on the bus shared similar sentiments and committed more to the fight.
We can all learn from these community champions. When we lose our fear and dedicate ourselves to the movement, we can grow our army and win the war for equality and rights for all. If we rise up and fight back, the sky is the limit!
If you want to support immigrants in their fight to defend their families, please sign the petition tell Governor Pat McCrory to stop attacking immigrants and pull our state out of a lawsuit that will only hurt NC families and our economy: http://bit.ly/1CEXqGd