Around 100 people gathered to support undocumented workers as they revealed their immigration status publicly this afternoon at the Vance Monument. According to a press release whose full text follows the photos below, the rally was organized by a “new collective of undocumented youth in the mountains of NC,” in order to counteract “growing anti-immigrant fervor in the NC State Legislature and across the country.”
Press release from the rally’s organizers:
Undocumented Immigrants Come Out of the Shadows in Asheville, NC
ASHEVILLE, NC—A group of undocumented immigrants, along with community supporters, will gather to publicly declare their immigration status and share their personal stories. In light of the growing anti-immigrant fervor in the NC State Legislature and across the country, we refuse to remain silent in the shadows.
“Coming out of the shadows is essential, not only to encourage others not to be afraid but to lift the weight off my shoulders,” says Bruno Hinojosa, an undocumented youth participating on Friday. He has lived in the US since he was eleven years old. “I am a human being. There’s no criminal here, because I didn’t cross the borders. The borders crossed me!”
Whether it is from the recent ICE raids that have swept through our communities here in the mountains of North Carolina or the anti-immigrant fervor in the state legislature, brought upon us by the Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy, we, undocumented immigrants, are being dehumanized while fear is instilled in our every-day lives.
Why must we come out of the shadows? Because we are tired of living silent and in fear. Because in this society, we are defined by our lack of “papers” instead of whom we are as human beings. Coming out of the shadows is necessary in order to reclaim what has been stripped from our lives—our humanity.
We are tired of being criminalized and we will not let anyone silence our voices. We are your brothers, your sisters, your friends, your neighbors, your fellow workers, your classmates, and your community. Join us as we come out of the shadows, share our immigrant stories, and declare ourselves undocumented, unafraid, and unashamed.
WHERE: Vance Monument in downtown Asheville, NC
WHEN: Friday, March 30, 2012 at 4PM
WHAT: Coming Out of the Shadows Rally
WHO: Undocumented immigrants and community supporters.
This event is being organized and led by a new collective of undocumented youth in the mountains of NC. We want to lead a movement in Western NC, in which our own voices are heard, and our lives are empowered through recognizing our own potential to create change.