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Photo by Victoria Bouloubasis

 

by Amy Fischer

 

North Carolina’s new policy for issuing licenses for DACA beneficiaries has made national news. People seem to be up in arms looking for ways to do something about the now infamous pink (or is it fuchsia?) stripe. Some religious and advocacy organizations have started encouraging allies to put pink tape on their licenses as an act of solidarity. While I appreciate the sentiment, I, as an ally will not be doing this to my license.

The last time I wrote a blog post about my experience as an ally, I wrote about the fear that I hold for my friends who drive without licenses. I told the story of a friend who would drive without fear, partly because she had to get around and had no other option, but also because she trusted the power of fighting back in case anything were to happen.

As a member of NC DREAM Team, I have had the privilege of speaking with a bunch of people who will be receiving these  pink licenses. One person, who is a junior in high school, has told me how he and his parents have been counting down the days until March 25th because this serves as an opportunity for somebody in their family to actually have a drivers license. He says the pink stripe is wrong; he is by no means happy about it. But to him, a license is a license. He and his parents have a whole list of things that they are going to do, and will be able to do, now that there is a license in the family. Alternatively, I’ve heard the story of a young woman who says she will not be getting one of these licenses. She says that she has felt discriminated against all of her life because of her immigration status, and this is just one more instance of her being singled-out and treated wrongly. She says she will continue driving without a license and without fear.

In both of these cases, and the many more in-between, I honestly can’t relate. And putting a bit of pink tape on my license will not change this . I will not get pulled over and questioned about my status because the license in my wallet has tape on it. I won’t feel the sting of the hatred of the anti-immigrant rhetoric that refers to my friends as criminals and demands that they “get out.” And while this may be an over-generalization, for most of the folks that I have seen taping their licenses in solidarity, they seem to be the types that rarely have to take their licenses out of their wallets anyway. We don’t look suspicious. We would probably get waved right through a check point in our neighborhoods because our skin color does not evoke a threat to people’s comfort levels.

I’m not putting pink tape on my license because my solidarity comes from standing with my immigrant friends and supporting their organizing efforts, not from a lame attempt to pretend like I know what it’s like to be undocumented or singled out because of my immigration status. My solidarity allows for undocumented youth to speak for themselves, not for clergy and advocates to attempt to co-opt a struggle that isn’t theirs. Yes, this new policy is unjust. And it’s great that so many people seem fired up about it. But, if you want to do something about it, consult with the people who are directly  affected to see how you can stand in solidarity.

To start, join us on March 25th. That’s the first day these pink licenses are being issued, and DACA youth and their families will be speaking out at 3:30pm at the DMV at 2431 Spring Forest Road North Raleigh, Unit 101, NC 27615. See you there.

Below is a letter from Jeff to Time Warner Cable in support of Lorena Yanez-Mata, immigrant mother now facing deportation after a company representative turned her in to the police after setting up and paying for cable service. If you think this is wrong, you too can pledge to unsubscribe from TWC. Send us your letters to TWC at dreamteamnc@gmail.com. Thanks for your support! 

Dear Mr. Stanley and Ms. Leepson,

My name is Jeff Shaw, and earlier this week I found myself in one of those situations where the timing makes you wonder if something was meant to happen.

Currently, I have Frontier Internet. Their service is awful. On a good day I get 3mbps download speed, and those good days are few. Since Frontier took over from Verizon in Durham, I’ve been really displeased.

On Monday, my girlfriend and I finally decided we’d had it and were going to make the switch to Time Warner. I made the call. I gleefully anticipated download speeds approaching 30 mbps, not 3. Given that your two companies are my only two options, I felt it was a no-brainer — especially because the prices are comparable.

Then, I read this: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/lorena/

Is it really Time Warner Cable’s policy to turn in undocumented people so they can be arrested and deported?

I think this incident is outrageous, especially since the outcome involves the likely deportation of a young mother who hasn’t committed any crime. This will split up her family and leave a seven-year-old motherless. I could get into the broader immigration policy ramifications, but the main thing is this: it seems that your company took the initiative in destroying this family’s life.

If this is not your policy — if it were the actions of a rogue employee — I would suggest TWC immediately move to condemn this deportation and discipline the employee. If TWC doesn’t send a clear statement in this regard, it will be difficult to prevent another such tragedy.

If this *is* your policy, please let me assure you that I’m not the only one who finds it reprehensible.

In conclusion, let me be clear: Your company has a better product at comparable prices. I am addicted to the Internet and slow download speeds are really frustrating for me. I was ready to make the switch.

But I’d rather put up with bad service and a poor product than support a company that wants to deport my friends and neighbors. Until Time Warner Cable takes steps to make this right, I can’t in good conscience use your service.

Sincerely,

Jeff Shaw

SIGN the online petition!

It’s been 155 hours since Uriel decided to stop eating as he sits in Wake County jail with an ICE detainer. The national immigration office has stated it will not drop the hold on Uriel. But, Uriel is not alone. His friends are joining him and have decided to give up food until Uriel is out of the claws of the immigration enforcement machine. Last Wednesday, in an act of courage to come out of the shadows, Uriel and the rest of the #Raleigh3 stood up against anti-immigrant legislators spewing language of hate and discussing what anti-immigrant bill to pass next. As undocumented youth, one would assume we’d be terrified and staying in the shadows, without a single spark of hope. But you see, this is not the case. Following Wednesday’s act of courage inside the NC legislature by our brave #Raleigh3, undocumented youth have decided to come out about their status. Realizing that remaining in the shadows is no longer acceptable as our undocumented community continues to be criminalized and marginalized, undocumented youth are redefining our value as human beings and it will no longer be determined by a social security number. Uriel, who still remains detained at Wake County jail, is proof of this. He isn’t sitting back and mourning his detention. He is remaining strong and has given up food inside the jail to send out a message that, although detained, he will continue to take a stand. Outside or inside detention, we will organize and we will fight back.

Cristina Alberto, Uriel’s sister

Uriel’s older sister, Cristina, has also refused to eat until she sees her brother released: ”My brother helped me go to school, without him I wouldn’t have been able to make the decision to go to college.”

El Cambio member Eric Martinez has also refused to eat until Uriel is released.

Continue calling Washington DC ICE at (202) 732-3000 on behalf of Uriel. When you call, say this:

“Hi, I was calling to ask that ICE drop the hold on Uriel Alberto (A#089-828-718). According to president Obama, he should not be facing deportation because he is Dream Act eligible. He is the father of a US citizen child and sole caretaker of his sisters. He stood up for his community and should be back home with his family. Please drop the ICE hold immediately. Thank you.”

If you haven’t yet, SIGN the online petition and ask your friends to sign it as well.

Thank you for your support!

Donate & Subscribe

Donate here. Donations help us travel around the state and purchase materials for actions and events. You can also subscribe to our mailing list.

@NCDREAMTeam

  • @joshabla xoxoxo!#FWYH 15 hours ago
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