By Yesenia Valdez
Fresno Immigrant Youth in Action (FIYA) is a grassroots community organization dedicated to empowering immigrant youth and families to advocate for immigrant rights. The FIYA is also an affiliate of the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA) and prides itself on being LGBTQ inclusive. Its goal is to bring visibility for the FIYA and to create awareness about the (im)migrant community in the Central Valley and across the country by participating in the Two Cities Marathon & Half. The FIYA will be focusing on the #Not1More deportation, #MigrantLivesMatter and #Health4All campaigns.
Thousands of people participate in the Two Cities Marathon & Half every year for different reasons and causes. Running itself is symbolic for a lot of things. For the FIYA, it will be symbolic of all of the deportations under Obama’s administration, which at this point have exceeded 2 million! This is unacceptable! The FIYA hopes to be able to make some noise and gain the president’s attention and continue to pressure him to act now—to stop deportations! #Not1More!
There are 1,100 deportations that happen daily, yet the heartbreak that ensues is immeasurable. (Im)migrant folks risk their lives just to have the opportunity to have a better life in the “Land of the Free,” yet they often live in the shadows filled with fear of getting deported. Families keep getting separated and children are left orphaned, and the day-to-day struggles are real and painful. It is obvious that America provides equality and justice only for some.
Human rights are denied to those who don’t have the privilege of having the special Social Security numbers. Undocumented people are dehumanized and thousands are made to suffer in detention centers. #TeamFIYA wants to urge President Barack Obama (Deporter-in-Chief) to use his executive power to stop deportations and to grant administrative relief and expand deferred action for all of the 11 million undocumented folks. He needs to stop playing political games with families. It is heartbreaking that the president has decided to deport thousands of refugee children back to their war-torn, violent and drug-ridden home countries. The FIYA is running for the families, communities and refugee children at the border.
Access to healthcare is a human right. The FIYA wants to remind the president that #MigrantLivesMatter! #Health4ALL is needed for all communities. Locally in Fresno, the Board of Supervisors has decided to end the Medical Indigent Service Program (MISP) for the undocumented community. Without this service, the most vulnerable and marginalized communities are left to fend for themselves when it comes to healthcare. These communities are our friends, families and neighbors.
The FIYA here to help the im(migrant) community in any way we can. Through this marathon, the FIYA is fund-raising for the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) scholarships. The DACA authorizes undocumented individuals to obtain a work permit. The cost for a permit is $465! It is beyond unjust what the undocumented community has to go through just to survive. Please consider donating to the campaign on indiegogo.
Look for #TeamFIYA at the Two Cities Marathon on Nov. 2. The race starts at 6:30 a.m. at Woodward Park (Friant Road and Audubon Drive). Join the FYA’s cheering tent along the course at Friant Road and Copper Avenue. Support this protest in motion through running.
The president needs to take action now! All deportations need to stop!
The FIYA is running for the liberation of all of the undocumented community. Liberation, not deportation!
For more information go to bit.ly/runfiya