Statewide Campaign: Licenses For All
State and county wide #ManejandoSinMiedo campaigns are gaining momentum across the country. From one state to the next, we are witnessing immigrant workers and families coming together in mass numbers to demand their most basic right to Drive Without Fear. Over the last few weeks, state legislatures across the country have introduced driver licenses bills, a demand many immigrant rights groups have spent years fighting for. But we know that we can be stronger together, so we are joining forces to launch a national support network for #DrivingWithoutFear Campaigns. Everyone is welcome!
The campaigns below are all part of the national #DrivingWithoutFear Network. If you are interested in learning more, sign up here.
In February of this year, Cosecha Massachusetts (MA) launched its driver licenses campaign with statewide assembly in Boston. Although Democrats in the state always promise us that they will give our community licenses, they have never put it up for a vote, and this is why we decided to launch the campaign “Licenses For All”. We have Cosecha groups in 6 cities; they are organizing massive forums with hundreds of people coming together for each, local marches, and they are now gearing up for statewide pilgrimage that will end in the City of Boston. It is time for the immigrant community in the state to rise up and that together we demand “Licenses for All”.
Cosecha Michigan (MI) launched its statewide driver licenses campaign in mid-2018 and since then we have been activating the migrant community across the state. In Grand Rapids we have had massive marches with thousands of people showing up, and this past October we led a 60-mile walk to their capitol building in Lansing to demand driver licenses. In Michigan it’s been 10 years since they took away licenses for the community, and even though the fight to be able to drive without fear won’t be easy, we know that our work and contributions sustain this state - we harvest the fruits, work in their factories, and we can use that strength and resilience we have to change the laws of the state. Now we are getting ready for a day without immigrants this May 1st. The struggle continues!
In January of 2018, Cosecha New Jersey (NJ) launched its “Licenses Yes, Promises Not”. Even though democrats control the state governement, they have not put the licenses bill up for a vote. This is why Cosecha New Jersey is focused on activating the immigrant community and creating people power that will be needed to win licenses this year. As a migrant community in New Jersey, we are tired of more than 15 years of false promises. We can no longer depend on politicians that don’t understand our reality. A drivers license is the minimum our community deserves for everything it contributes to this state. We have circles in more than 10 cities across the states and together we have joined forces to have massives mobilizations, an 11 day walk across the state, and a hunger strike at the end of last year. Now we are all coming together for massive march this May 1st in the city of Perth Amboy.
Local Campaigns: No Arrests for Driving Without a License
There are many counties where ICE and local authorities colaborate and this increases the risk of being arrested and/or transfered to a detention center. This is why many counties are demanding a stop to arrest for driving without a license. Driving without fear doesn’t only mean having a drivers license and this is why in more conservative states we are fighting for parents, workers, and students to drive knowing that they won’t be arrested.
In Athens-Clarke county, Dignidad Inmigrante en Athens (DIA) has already demonstrated the power the immigrant community has. In 2018 they won their campaign to stop the collaboration between ICE and the county through the use of ICE holds. Now the struggle continues and they have launched a campaign to put a stop to arrest for driving without a license.
In Elkhart county, in the north of Indiana, local police has a reputation of using racial profiling to stop, arrest, and transfer many immigrant families to the custody of ICE, Cosecheros have launched a campaign to demand that Elkhart recognize that it depends on the community and let them drive without fear. Together they have called for a massive march this May 1st in Elkhart.