Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Immigration Activists try Freedom Rides

"Dreams Across America" is a Freedom Ride on Amtrak for immigration reform. Starting with 100 legal immigrants in Los Angeles and ending with 429 in Washington, DC, the focus is more on dialog and changing attitudes than specific legislation (though the timing coincides with last ditch efforts to salvage the immigration bill.). It is an ambitious, fresh approach after the backlash of the large rallies we saw earlier.

Their website is visually appealing, very interesting and consistent with their objective of reaching out and telling stories. The drop down menu on hard facts is a wonderful tactic in dealing with attitudes of those unmoved by the human element, but it needs much more development, particularly the section on contributions to the economy. There are opportunities to build community with people sharing video and text stories. There's a montage segment that brings a tear to my eye - to see the diversity in ages and gender and ethnicity and to see allies represented on this tour is very effective. The site's blog could be another tool, but there's a glitch right now with lots of code showing at the top.

Will it be seen? Will this campaign have a chance to be effective? Having legal immigrants and allies is less threatening, the approach has a chance to touch hearts, but without extensive coverage and timing, where will it go? The Washington Post covered their arrival yesterday. But on local news, there was a piece on graduating children of undocumented immigrants and their hopes for a provision that would allow those with great grades to stay in the country, but nothing on their websites today. The rally will be today. Let's check coverage this evening.

1 comment:

John said...

What a great story. Maybe some undocumented immigrants will decide to take this to the civil disobedience level and do the same thing. That would put us to the test. Thanks for writing.

John Moore