Pathway to Citizenship
By Stefani Davila
October 13th, 2021 at 8:00 P.M. EST.
“Pathway to citizenship!” an influential crowd of activists screamed this chant at the march that took place in Washington D.C. on September 21st, 2021.
The power of unity that our immigrant community has is undeniable. On September 21st, 2021, more than 5,000 undocumented folks, DACA recipients, TPS holders, volunteers, and allies participated in the rally to citizenship. T Florida state was there to represent those who still are afraid to raise their voices and fight for their rights as immigrants and essential workers. A group of almost 60 volunteers from the Florida Immigrant Coalition in South Florida, departed from Miami and Orlando, on a bus to Washington, a trip of more than 18 hours. This kind of adventure and sacrifice was to show everyone that we are here, we are home, we will continue fighting, and that nothing can stop us from defending our marginalized community.
Throughout this vivid experience, I had the chance to portray the powerful movement of thousands of immigrants who came to protest outside the capitol. I had the opportunity to engage more with a community that is constantly defending equality for immigrants and essential works championing for education reform, and fighting to stop unnecessary deportations and critical family separations. Washington was the witness of the power of the people. Before all the volunteers left for the march we had a heart-felt artivism activity. Many wrote significant messages in their banners, others drew the flags of their countries, and others just directly asked the government to do something now for our immigrant community.
Photo credits: Stefani Davila
At the march, as we went past the tunnel, a band of music started to give us such a wonderful show that it gave me chills. The high melody gave energy to those chanting “I believe that we will win,”,“El pueblo unido jamás será vencido,” and other chants that they were singing. Also, as we continued with the action, I had the pleasure and joy to capture the moment in which two volunteers were dancing “La vida es un carnaval” by Celia Cruz. Don't we see that our movement is full of everything you can imagine, resilience, joy, hope, and the desire to finally achieve something stable enough to give a pathway to citizenship to all of those who deserve and want to achieve a better future.
After we marched almost 3 hours, holding signs that said “Defend DACA,'' “Citizenship for all,” “Stop deportations,'', getting interviews from reporters, signing with the rest of the people, some crying because of the impactful moment that we were living, we finally arrived at the place where the conference took place. Many activists from different organizations such as United We Dream, CASA, Florida Immigrant Coalition, and more expressed their concerns related to the reform to a pathway to citizenship, and even some senators showed up to express their support toward this cause. Most importantly, we were there to fight for our families, our neighbors, and our communities.
This is an issue that personally affects many of our students at Padrón Campus. Hopefully, more students will get involved in these activities to support this cause because we are the future leaders of this country, and together we can uplift others and encourage them to continue fighting for what they believe in, never giving up.
Florida Inmigrant coalition
https://floridaimmigrant.org/ (For more information)
https://floridaimmigrant.org/volunteer/ (To get involved)
United We Dream
https://unitedwedream.org/about/contact/ (For more information)
https://actionnetwork.org/forms/immigrants-are-heretostay/ (To get involved)
Stefani Davila is a sophomore student majoring in business administration who is also pursuing a college credit certificate in business management at the Miami Dade Honors College, Eduardo J. Padrón campus. Stefani, values community service very much, which is why she is a volunteer and an active photographer in “Fundación Jóvenes Contra el Cáncer” in Ecuador and United We Dream. Stefani likes to design posters or advertisements for different subjects. She also writes poetry, draws, and continuously work in developing the base for her photography business. She is currently a new editor, writer, and photographer for Urbana Literary & Arts volume XIV. Stefani is always looking for new opportunities and tries to take advantage of them in order to learn something new and improve her different skills.