After a five-week tour from Arizona, travelers on the "UnDocuBus" arrived in Charlotte, seat of the Democratic National Convention, to ask President Barack Obama on which side of the undocumented's history he will be.
"We want to know if it will be on the side of immigrants, of civil rights, of stopping deportations, of eliminating police collaboration with immigration - or on the other side, to be remembered as the president who deported the most immigrants in the nation's history," Rosy Carrasco from Chicago told Efe.
The Mexican got on the bus a week ago for the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice, part of a movement to pressure the Obama administration into resolving the immigration status of 11 million undocumented people living in the country.
The UnDocuBus trip left on July 29 from Phoenix, capital of the first state to enact a harsh anti-immigration law, and drove through 10 states including Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, which adopted measures inspired by Arizona's SB 1070.
Upon its arrival last Saturday in Charlotte, the Hispanic community came out to greet it, eager to hear stories of what happened on the ride.
Iredis Sota Carrasco, a 25-year-old student from Chicago who began the journey a month ago, told Efe she had a "beautiful experience" because in the places they visited, people were organizing to defend their rights.
"The message we bring is to encourage the community to come out of the shadows without fear, and they've been doing it, we are only helping to spread their work," she said.
The group joined with other pro-immigrant organizations on Sunday to march through Charlotte's financial district.
Some 3,000 marched without fear through the streets to demand that the Democratic Party and the president come up with a permanent solution for the undocumented.
Housewives, students, construction workers, activists and mothers spent more than a month on a green bus painted with big monarch butterflies, which paradoxically fly every year from Mexico to North Carolina.
Gerardo Torres, who crossed the border from Mexico 20 years ago to reach Phoenix, said that the group lived together "without any real problems" despite the cramped space and long distances.
Torres told Efe that they almost never had to sleep on the bus or cook, because in the cities where they went they stayed in churches and meals were generally provided by support groups.
Some on the ride were afraid like Leticia Ramirez of Phoenix, particularly when they had to stop at a police post as they were leaving Austin, Texas.
"I only thought about my kids, I felt bad for them, I cried because if anything happened to me I'd never see them again," the young mother said.
But the message of unity brought by the immigrants on the UnDocuBus to Charlotte was received with admiration by Hispanics like Josely Gamboa.
"The unity they have, even though they're not from the same place, makes them act like a big family - we don't have that in Charlotte," the Mexican said. EFE