National Immigration Forum

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Determined to be heard

March 20, 2010 - Posted by Maurice Belanger


Since the election of President Obama, there has been a lot of attention to gatherings of what has come to be called the “tea party.”  While the motivations of tea party activists are varied, that movement came into public view in the effort to oppose Congress’ attempt to extend health care to millions of the uninsured.

Sunday, the nation will hear a very different voice—or I should say from 100,000 voices.  They will represent the millions of Americans frustrated with the lack of progress in fixing our nation’s broken immigration system and broken economy.

Organizers say many of the 100,000 expected to attend the March for America will be coming on 900 buses. One measure of the determination of these activists is the distance they are traveling on those buses from all over the country.

From the West, there is a bus on its way from San Francisco, loaded with 50 leaders of the PICO National Network, a faith-based community organizing group.  Their cross-country journey was kicked off with press conferences on March 17 in San Francisco and Oakland.  Along the way, they are holding press events in Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver, Kansas City, and Columbus.

From the Southwest, the human rights group Puente sent a caravan from Phoenix on March 6.  That caravan stopped for events in El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Montgomery, Atlanta, and Raleigh, among other places.

From the South, dozens of buses are coming from Florida and Georgia.  In Orlando, bus riders are gathering in the Citrus bowl, where they will be sent off by Bishop Thomas Wenski of the Orlando Catholic Diocese.

From the north, Voces de la Frontera sent a caravan from Milwaukee on March 17 that is making stops in Chicago, Toledo, and Cincinnati.  You can read about their trip on their blog.

These far-flung leaders will join many thousands of others on the National Mall tomorrow.  After a long journey by bus, plane, caravan, and even by foot, they will be tired but excited, and determined to be heard.



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