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Published on Apr 10, 2011
Undocumented and Unafraid - Statement by Andrea
Atlanta April 5, 2011
Coming out and sit-in (civil disobedience) by young people without legal immigration status who were brought to this country when they were children. The focus of this protest was the ban on students who are undocumented immigrants at the five leading Georgia public universities adopted by the state board of regents.
Seven of the undocumented youths who were acting as part of www.TheDreamIsComing.com project were arrested and only released later the next day on $2,000 bond each, and risking deportation, as happens to hundreds of other undocumented immigrants in Georgia who, after being stopped even for minor traffic violations, are taken to jail and handed over to federal immigration cops.
The protest began at Hurt Park with students telling their stories and hearing statements of support from the Rev. Tim McDonald and State Sen. Vincent Fort, both veteran civil and human rights advocates from Atlanta's Black comunity.
The students then delivered a letter for the president of Georgia State University demanding that he refuse the ban, that on a year that marks the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Georgia State University, implementing this ban would be a return to odious practices of the past.
Finally, to dramatize their plight, seven of the students blocked a downtown street, just as access to higher education is being blocked for hundreds of thousands of young people who have grown up in this country but nevertheless are branded as "alien" and "illegal."
This sit-in was carried out as an act of civil disobedience inspired by the legacy of Dr. King and the Black civil rights movement and especially SNCC, the student non-violent coordinating committee, the student movement that emerged in 1960 and reinvigorated the struggle to abolish segregation in the South.