Immigrant students stage theater in Uptown

Immigrant students stage theater in Uptown

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 27 at 10:59 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Young immigrants took to the streets of Uptown acting out real life scenarios in a technique called “Theater of the Oppressed". They're hoping it makes people stop and think about the real people behind Immigration Reform.

You could call this outdoor theater, after all it is called “Theater of the Oppressed”, but for young, undocumented immigrants like Ramon Garibaldo these scenes are everyday reality.
 
“There's always this constant fear, ok what's going to happen now or if I do this or even if I approach a cop," said Garibaldo.
 
The group United 4 The Dream, instead of standing on a corner protesting, are hoping to engage the public on immigration by acting out four real life scenarios with the help of the Latin American Coalition.
 
First scene is family separation due to deportation.
 
"There is a constant fear of that happening to you we have members in this group whose parents have been deported and we know it's a reality," said Garibaldo.
 
The second scene is undocumented graduates from high school. Thousands of students who grew up in the United States and graduate high school are unable to go to college.
 
The third scene is undocumented worker contributions and realizing the impact, from food preparation to painting your home, immigrants make to the local economy.
 
"Those buildings that you see in downtown Charlotte, those houses you see, they were built by undocumented immigrants," said Garibaldo.
 
And lastly is the scene of immigrant myths and stereotypes, showing people the faces behind the names they're given.

"You still have your voice you can still go to people and say I'm not illegal, I am a human being."
 
Ramon says if they can change even one opinion on immigration reform, it's worth it.
 
"I want people to walk in the streets and see that immigration is not just this isolated issue I see on the news I'm part of this," said Garibaldo.

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