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Media Advisory            Tuesday, November 15th

Contact: Mohammad Abdollahi  | Cell: 734.262.9705


Contact: Dayanna Rebolledo | Cell: 313.319.5524


Historical Civil Disobedience in Montgomery, Alabama:

Undocumented Parents, 55, 39, 30 and 25 Risk Arrest

Four parents join dozens of undocumented youth in demanding HB56 author—State Senator Beason— stop the hate


***Watch Live at 3:00pm EST - ***

MONTGOMERY, Ala.— 12 undocumented immigrants participate in an act of civil disobedience today in front of the Alabama State Capitol. They will publicly declare their undocumented status in defiance of HB 56, which is considered to be the harshest anti-immigrant bill in the country.

“We want to remind the immigrants of this state that they have a voice and it’s time to use it,” said Belen Rebelledo, an undocumented mother of three.  “We are here to stop Alabama from once again trying to turn the power of the state against those who live in it.”

Participants for today’s event have come together from all over the country to stand in solidarity with the community in Alabama. “What happens to one of us affects all of us regardless of where we live” said Alma Diaz, an undocumented immigrant who arrived in the U.S. at the age of 22.  Now 30 Alma fights for her community and is taking this risk, knowing she could be arrested and deported, because doing nothing is no longer an option. “What has hiding in the shadows gotten us? We must fight back; it is the only way to end the pain we see in our communities.”

When:       November 15th at 2:00pm: Alabama House of Reps

11 South Union Street, Montgomery, AL 36130-2102

What:  Undocumented parents and youth deliver a letter to state legislators demanding a change in anti-immigrant rhetoric and wait for response.

Where:  In front of Alabama State Legislature.

Who:  Martin Unzueta, 55; Belen Rebelledo, 39; Alma Diaz, 30; Jaime Guzman, 25, of Portland, OR; Catalina Rios, 19, of Detroit, MI; Ernesto Zumaya, 25, of Los Angeles, CA;  Myasha Arellano, 18, of San Fernando Valley, CA; Krsna Avila, 23, of Oakland, CA; Fernanda Marroquin, 22, of Philadelphia, PA; Cesar Marroquin, 21, of Philadelphia, PA; and Cynthia Perez, 27, of Indianapolis, IN.

Martin Unzueta, an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S. for the past 17 years is taking action to confront the lies; “The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement lie because they are hurting our communities with their actions. We are doing civil disobedience because we are not afraid of confronting those who lie.”

Jaime Limon-Guzman, an undocumented parent from Oregon is in Alabama to protect his family; “At 12, my parents brought me to the give me a better life.  I worry everyday for my 2 year old daughter, I am now taking the same risk my parents took to give her a better and more secure future.


The Alabama Youth Collective is an undocumented youth-led organization working to better the lives of immigrants in the state of Alabama.  The Youth Collective firmly believes in the principles of non-violent direct action.


Profile of parents participating in today’s civil disobedience

Belen Rico came to the U.S. 11 years ago to provide her children with a more promising future. Now 39 years old and a mother of three, she works multiple jobs in order to provide for her family. After spending time with immigrant communities inAlabama, she has witnessed first-hand how HB 56 is tearing families apart. Recognizing that she cannot sit by inDetroit while such injustice is happening inBirmingham, Belen feels that the time has come to take a stand. In her words, “As parents, we need to come out of the shadows and walk side by side with our children. We need to stand united so that our message can be strong and clear: we will no longer remain silent.”

Martin Unzueta has been in the United States for 17 years. A resident of Chicago,Illinois, the 55 year-old has been a long-time community organizer and now advocates for the rights of workers at the Chicago Community and Workers’ Rights Center. Martin refuses to stay silent while 1,100 people are deported every day. He recognizes that the majority of them are victims of Secure Communities, which criminalizes the families and workers like him who form the backbone of this society. He is taking this risk because he is tired of seeing his children suffer and is tired of the lies of ICE. Martin is fighting back because he will not be afraid of those who lie to entire communities under the guise of freedom.

Alma Diaz has lived in America for almost a decade. From Cincinnati,Ohio, she has worked hard to achieve the elusive American Dream. At 30 years old,Alma is a wife and mother, a student at Cincinnati State Community College, where she studies Business Management, and a community volunteer at the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, where she educates her fellow community members about their rights and fights to minimize wage theft. She has demonstrated, through her actions, her value of service to the community and of education. With these same values in mind,Alma is taking action in Alabama. She hopes to empower other undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and take a stand, in order to keep their families together and hold America accountable to its own values.

Jaime Limon-Guzman came to the United States at age 12 from Mexico. Jaime currently works as an organizer and mentor in his community in Oregon. As a young parent of a 2 year old, He fears he will be separated from his daughter due to his immigration status. Jaime decided to risk deportation by sharing his story in Alabama in hopes to put an end to law that dehumanizes his community.


Remaining profiles will be loaded on    |    @dreamact

By Emily Cabaniss and Justin Valas

As mentioned in the previous post, the dangers of coming out in rural North Carolina are all too real. Last week at the Lexington Multicultural Festival, four undocumented youth resisted the factors that push back on their ability to have a normal future in the place they call home- they came out of the shadows in a very public place.

Judging by the double-takes that the randomly passing police officers gave us, our booth clearly stood out from the rest of the crowd:

Photo by J. Valas

Over the course of the day, dozens of people stopped by our booth to express their support and solidarity. Of those dozens, four youth experienced something very different and left with a subtly defiant glow of confidence in their eyes.

One young woman told me that she had graduated from high school last year and was still wondering what is next. “I want to get into community college, I want to study early childhood education and teach young children.” The only frustration was continued confusion over whether she could get into school (let alone the abusive registration process), and obvious concerns about how to finance the out-of-state tuition she would surely be charged….

A couple of other youth, dressed in the crisp fatigues of JROTC, casually picking up our materials asked about what we do. Nonchalantly, one of the two let it drop that as an undocumented High School senior they were wondering what came next.

Another youth stood and conversed with me at length about the importance of the DREAM Act, and the importance of working to safeguard the rights and futures of undocumented youth. Suddenly, she switched over to Spanish and told me “Soy una de esos estudiantes (I am one of those students).” She went on to tell me about how she had been accepted to college with a generous scholarship package and how much she wanted to share that knowledge with others.

A future child educator. JROTC youth. A student who merited a full-ride scholarship to a prestigious university. These are some of the stories of undocumented youth in rural North Carolina, who are impacted by the anti-immigrant bills in the NC General Assembly. These are some of the youth whose futures are put on hold as Senator Kay Hagan refuses to support the DREAM Act.

As an ally, I felt amazed and inspired by these youth. Full of  energy, they had the courage to approach a stranger and shared both their status and desires for the future in a rural county known for its anti-immigrant tendencies.

If there is one thing that I have learned from the past year of our activism in NC and across the country, it is this:

Empowerment is contagious.

How will you use yours?

If you are undocumented, and ready to come out- please get in touch with us (also, check out this great guide compiled by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance).

Everyone should feel free to contact your local Representative and Senator in NC (find yours here), and tell them that you expect them to oppose all anti-immigrant legislation in the General Assembly. You can also urge your Representative and Senators in DC (find yours here) to co-sponsor and support the DREAM Act.

Photo courtesy of Dayanna R.

Undocumented youth are taking a stand against HB87, an Arizona-style bill in Georgia. Georgia has also moved to ban undocumented youth from attending its top-tier public universities. CBS Atlanta has the story here.

From the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance:

Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance

Contact: Georgina Perez or Cell: 678-389-1226

Keish Kim or Cell: 678.525.1912

Undocumented High School Students Walk Out In Response to HB 87 and Ban on Higher Education Youth Demand Equality Education on 57th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education

Mableton, Georgia— May 17th, on the anniversary of landmark civil rights case Brown vs. Board of Education, hundreds of students from Pebblebrook high school will walk out of their classrooms demanding equal access to higher education. The, mostly undocumented, students hope their walkout will send a clear signal to Gov. Deal, the Board of Regents and others who wish to prevent them from attaining a higher education; “as undocumented youth we can no longer be afraid of those who stand against us, instead we need show them we will fight back. We need to take a stand because if we do not do it no one else will” says Dulce Guerrero, an undocumented 12th grader at Pebblebrook high school.

WHAT: Undocumented youth walk-out of class and rally outside school at flag poll

WHO: Undocumented Youth and allies in grades 9 to 12 from Pebblebrook high-school
Reverend Timothy McDonald, senior pastor of the First Iconium Baptist Church

WHEN: Tuesday, May 17th at 2:00pm at the Flag Poll

WHERE: FLAG POLL - Pebblebrook high school, 991 Old Alabama Road, Mableton, Georgia 30126

In October of 2010 the Georgia Board of Regents made a ruling which bars all undocumented youth from its top 5 universities. The ban, unlike other states, does not even allow for undocumented youth to attend at out-of-state tuition rates. Rev. Timothy McDonald, senior pastor of the First Iconium Baptist Church states; “As we remember the historic Brown vs. Board of Education decision, we affirm that immigration is the civil rights issue for the 21st century. We will not re-segregate our colleges and university. America must continue its forward progress towards affirming the rights of all people.”

According to a July 2010 Migrant Policy Institute report, Dulce is just one of the estimated 74,000 undocumented youth who are currently living in Georgia. She joins the over 2.1 million who reside in the United States. Dulce went on to say; “A ban on college is unacceptable; if our students have the brains then nothing should prevent them from attending college. I am walking out today because I want to go to college; if my teachers, my principle and my community support the values of Brown vs. Board of Education then I hope they will support us, the students who are affected by these laws.”

The students leading this action promise that it is only the first of its kind, like the action of April 5th in which 7 undocumented youth were arrested; organizers plan to continue with the direct civil disobedience actions until immigrant communities in Georgia can once again live without constant fear.

Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance (GUYA) is an Undocumented Youth-led organization which seeks dignity and justice for its immigrant youth community in the state of Georgia. GUYA believes all persons should have equal access to education and a life free from persecution regardless of their legal status.

Viridiana and Jose Rico havedrawn a line in the sand. Along with six other undocumented youth, these two sat down on Courtland Street in downtown Atlanta and refused to leave. After giving speeches both at a coming out rally and while they blocked the street, police arrested seven of the eight who sat down. They have been taken to the city jail.

Read the CNN here.

Updates will be sent from

By Domenic Powell

The New Racism finds a home in the Deep South. Surprised?

Mississippi’s Senate just passed its own version of Arizona’s SB1070 law, which is currently being challenged in Federal court on constitutional grounds.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour will likely sign the bill, but it will face major scrutiny as Barbour floats his name as a potential 2012 presidential contender. Barbour recently made headlines by implying that White Citizens’ Councils were a benevolent organization due to their opposition to the Ku Klux Klan, when in fact the only difference was that the White Citizens’ Councils used business power to maintain White Supremacy instead of the violent tactics preferred by the Klan.

The White Citizens’ Councils became the Council of Conservative Citizens in 1988, after a previous name change (to the Citizen’s Council of America) in 1956. The WCC and the CCA used the same newspaper, The Citizens’ Council.

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  • @joshabla xoxoxo!#FWYH 16 hours ago

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