Friday, March 15, 2013
Undocumented immigrants around the nation are organizing marches demanding a stop to deportation and asking for immigration reform inclusive of all 11 million undocumented people in the U.S.
Raul Alcaraz Ochoa, organizer of the local march, said the Tucson community will also request that Tucson Police Department use the loopholes they have available to not fully enforce SB1070, as calling Border Patrol is left up to the officer's discretion.
"There's loopholes that they can use to not have to call Border Patrol," Alcaraz Ochoa said. "We've had over 20 workers in the last year be taken where police calls Border Patrol and then they're separated from their families."
Because undocumented immigrants can't vote or run for office and directly change the discussion on illegal immigration, they are using other methods such as rallies, political protests, marches and civil disobedience to pressure politicians to talk about and vote on immigration reform that takes into account all members of a family affected by the reform.
"So we're bringing attention to all these issues at a local, at a statewide and at a national level," Alcaraz Ochoa said.
After seeing that relying on others to make those changes didn't solve anything, undocumented immigrants have decided to come out of the shadows in a nationwide campaign called Ni Una Deportacion Mas (Not One More Deportation). Alcaraz Ochoa said undocumented people in the U.S. are realizing they need to find ways to stand up for themselves, since they're the ones being directly affected by anti-immigration laws, in order to truly see a change in immigration reform.
"If we don't do things for ourselves nothing is going to save us," Alcaraz Ochoa said. "We've tried everything else. We've called politicians, we do letter writing, we do rallies, we do protests, we do marches and we're still getting people deported at the biggest levels we've seen in the history of this country."
The marches across the U.S., according to Alcaraz Ochoa, show how serious undocumented immigrants are about immigration reform and about putting a stop to deportations which separates families. A recent video of an 11-year-old in Phoenix went viral, serving as an example to the effects of anti-immigration laws and drawing attention to the issue.
Despite anti immigration laws directly affecting those who are undocumented, Alcaraz Ochoa emphasized that an entire community is affected when some of the people in it are deprived of human rights. Those marching in Tucson will ask TPD to change their enforcement policies and ask Tucson to truly become the the immigrant-welcoming city it declared last August.
The march will start at the Southside Presbyterian Church at 317 W. 23rd Street at noon and ends at the TPD downtown station at 270 S. Stone Ave.