DC Chapter Leaders Risking Arrest for Fair Immigration Reform

Published: Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Jessica Cendana
NAPAWF-DC Chapter Co-Chair

Wow, I got arrested.

Today I stood side by side with 100 other women including leaders of immigrant rights, community advocates and undocumented immigrant women to demand the House to pass immigration reform that is inclusive of the unique needs of women and families.

Like many immigrant parents, mine wanted to move to the United States to give my brother and I an opportunity to thrive and better our lives.

We are now living that dream, however, our current immigration system does not allow the same equal opportunity for all families. In fact, it tears them apart and children worry that they will have to continue living in the shadows and that their families will be separated due to outdated laws.

We must demand that the House be able to work on more than one piece of legislation at a time, have more honest dialogue and ensure the voices of those directly impacted are involved. I am an ally and got arrested today for friends, DREAMers, and the 11 million undocumented immigrants. The time is now.

Diana Bui
NAPAWF-DC Chapter Co-Chair

No Rest for the Weary
I am taking over the streets of Capitol Hill with over 100 women

Today, at this very moment, I am under arrest from engaging in a non-violent civil disobedient action for immigrant, civil and worker rights. Led by We Belong Together, women of mixed immigration status’ from all over the country convened in Washington DC to send a strong and urgent message to Congress. “Pass Immigration Reform Now!” (watch the action unfold live at americasvoiceonline.org/livestream)

I am risking arrest for the hope that Yves Gomes, a DREAMer from Maryland will one day soon reunite with his mother – who left India and worked her way through the higher education in the U.S. to provide for her family. She was deported 4 years ago and is now thousands of mile away from her two sons.

I am fighting for immigration reform in solidarity with trafficked workers from overseas like Ingrid Cruz, a passionate teacher from the Philippines and H-1B visa holder living in Louisiana. Along with hundreds of teachers, she was exploited and abused by labor recruiters with a history of felony offenses.

I am speaking out on the importance and successes of family unity like Christine Lien Nguyen, a United Domestic Worker (UDW) rank and file member in Orange County, CA. The aftermath of the Vietnam war forced her family to spread across the continent. It was only through sibling sponsorship that she was able to reunite with her brother in the U.S. and re-establish a life for her own children.

I am inspired by Ainee Athar, Lundy Khoy, the late Tam Tran and other undocumented women leaders who share their story courageously. Though Tam Tran is no longer with us, the legacy of her work continues to redefine our understanding on what full citizenship means in this country. (Please watch Undocumented & Unafraid)

We shall overcome

I am a Vietnamese queer women of color and a daughter of refugee parents.¬†As a U.S. citizen, I stand in solidarity with the 20 courageous undocumented women who took a huge risk in today’s action.

Now is the time to escalate in action and make our demands even louder. It’s time we ended the criminalization of undocumented immigrants, especially women.

Will you rise in action with over 100 women:

  1. Talk/Tweet about the action: Recess is over. @SpeakerBoehner, @GOPWhip, #Congress 2 get to work on #immigration reform that treats #women fairly. #WomenTogether
  2. Watch on livestream: americasvoiceonline.org/livestream
  3. Share stories on immigration/immigrant rights
  4. Engage with your local immigration organization/coalition.

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