Immigrant Leaders in Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, and Indiana call for coordinated actions on May 1st to amplify Statewide “Driving Without Fear” Campaigns
As statewide immigrant-led Driver Licenses campaigns to gain momentum across the Country, the Cosecha Movement launches the first ever Driving Without Fear National Network
Nationwide – Leaders of state and countywide campaigns across have come together to launch a national “Driving Without Fear” campaign and are calling for coordinated actions across the country this May 1st, 2019.
Across the country, immigrant leaders are demanding that states pass legislation that would allow immigrant families to apply for driver licenses. In the absence of any meaningful chance to win legalization at the federal level, “Driving Without Fear” campaigns are gaining momentum across the country.
The national “Driving Without Fear” network is a project of the Cosecha Movement, which is running campaigns in Michigan, Massachusetts and New Jersey demanding driver’s licenses for all undocumented immigrants. County campaigns in Georgia and Indiana and simultaneously demanding the stop of arrests for driving without a license.
In 2017, Cosecha organized the massive “Un Dia Sin Inmigrante” marches which mobilized thousands of immigrants across the country to demand permanent protection, dignity and respect. Local leaders and Cosecha members have launched this “Driving Without Fear” network to bring together others like them leading the fight for undocumented families and workers in the United States and their right to dignity, respect, and to drive without fear.
In cities across America, millions of parents and workers get up every morning to work and take their children to school. Families set out to buy groceries, take their children to the hospital when they are sick, or go to parks and malls to spend time together. But millions of undocumented immigrants fear sitting behind the wheel of a car because everyday things can lead to an arrest for not having license – children and parents alike tensing up and hold their breath every time a police officer drives by.
For many it means saying no to opportunities, taking long bus rides or walks that keeps them away from home, it means spending thousands a year in paying for “rides” – but for many others this is not a choice, and they are sentenced to driving with fear everyday. This is why immigrants across the United States are organizing and demanding their right to drive without fear.
In a time when abuse against our community continues to increase and expand and no one is talking about a permanent solution for our community, Cosecha leaders are not letting this administration’s policies and rhetoric define their lives and choosing to continue to fight. Undocumented immigrants are leading their own struggle, bringing their families, their friends, their co-workers, and communities together to demand their right to “Drive Without Fear”.
Immigrant leaders around the country are saying “Licensias Hoy, Papeles Manana” (Licenses Today, Papers Tomorrow) because they know that fighting for their right to drive without fear is only a first step in a longer path towards permanent protection, dignity, and respect. They have seen the energy bubbling across the country and are calling for other leaders to join them as part of a support network to support each other, learn and lead together.
“We need licenses because it’s a necessity– not a privilege or a luxury. We need to work, buy groceries, take our kids to school. We must be conscious and come out to march. We cannot be afraid because fear won’t give us anything, we already left our countries to come here so we can come out and march on May 1st.” – Norma Morales from Cosecha New Jersey
On May 1st, the immigrant community will take coordinated action and take to the streets to demand their right to drive without fear. In places like Perth Amboy, NJ businesses will be closing and hundreds from across the state will come together to demand that legislators keep their promises and pass driver’s license legislation. In Grand Rapids, MI thousands will take to the streets to join coordinated actions across the state and demand that the state reinstate driver licenses for the community.
Local leaders, like Norma, from local and state campaigns are available for interviews upon request.
Cosecha is a nonviolent movement fighting for permanent protection, dignity, and respect for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Our name, “harvest” in Spanish, honors the long tradition of farmworker organizing and the present-day pain of the thousands of undocumented workers whose labor continues to feed the country. Committed to winning real victories for our community, Cosecha believes in using non-cooperation to leverage the power of immigrant labor and consumption and force a meaningful shift in public opinion.