Mario Ramos, K-1 visa immigration lawyer


Mario Ramos: Immigration Advocacy

Immigration blog

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Freedom Ride runs through Nashville

By Colleen Creamer,

September 26, 2003

The Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride will pass through Nashville Monday during a cross-country effort to bring awareness to issues concerning immigrant worker’s rights.

The group has scheduled a noon rally at the courthouse. Civil Rights Leader James Lawson will speak at 6:15 p.m. at Hall of Fame Park.

The ride, said Matthew Leber, director of The Nashville Peace and Justice Center, harkens back to the Civil Rights Freedom Rides of the 1960s.

During this year’s ride, immigrant workers and allies are traveling across the country from nine cities to Washington, D.C., New Jersey and New York City.

The national issues for both documented and undocumented immigrants, said Leber, are legalization and citizenship, the right to organize and form unions, reunification of the family {allowing family members to come to the U.S.} and civil rights.

“Right now if you have a legal status in the U.S. and you want to become a citizen it takes anywhere from five to 10 years and now if you have legal status and you work and pay Social Security you are not allowed to vote,” Leber said.

Local issues he said are the Tennessee License Law, which allows undocumented citizens to get a driver’s license without a Social Security card and Temporary Protected Status for Columbians fleeing Columbia.

Another issue brewing in the local immigrant community, Leber said, is the push to unionize the Tyson plant in Goodletsville.

“Eleven hundred of the workers are immigrants from 16 different countries and they are afraid of repercussions if they were to try and become union members and so they are being threatened and being fired,” Leber said.

Local events Monday include a march from Shelby Street Bridge at 5 p.m. along with the rally and speech.

For more information, call Mario Ramos at 615-329-4588.