Monday, September 15, 2003

Governor Howard Dean Endorses Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride

First presidential candidate to endorse ride

ATLANTA--Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., became the first presidential candidate to endorse next week's Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, a historic effort to draw attention to the rights of immigrant workers and the need to reform America's immigration laws.

Modeled after the 1961 Freedom Rides, the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride will see immigrants board buses from ten U.S. cities and stop in over 100 towns.

In a letter to Maria Elena Durazo, National Chair of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, Governor Dean offered his strong support for the rides:

"I strongly support the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride and its goal of empowering millions of American workers to call for a clear roadmap to citizenship. It is my hope that the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, like the Freedom Rides of 1961 that inspired it, will serve as another defining moment in our history when the voices of a committed few help to raise the consciousness of all Americans," Governor Dean wrote.

Beginning with send-off rallies in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles on September 20--and subsequently in six other major cities--almost a thousand immigrant workers and their allies will cross the nation in buses, stopping in more than 100 towns and cities across the United States. The rides will culminate with Congressional visits and rallies in Washington, DC and New York during the first week in October, and will focus on drawing attention to the urgent need to reform America's immigration laws.

The Dean for America campaign has posted the Ride on its self-organizing action tools and set up a website to provide information on the ride.

"We are stronger when we are beholden to one another as part of a national community and weaker when we act only as individuals. The Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride reflects this ideal, and for that, I proudly support their efforts," Governor Dean wrote.

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