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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
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Immigration Activists Launch "Embrace Your Power" Campaign on National Voter Registration Day

The campaign supports children emigrating from Central America. 

Youth activists in the Los Angeles area are encouraging those of age to “embrace” their power to vote. Frustrated with the continued delay in immigration reform, activists have launched a campaign that they hope will effect change.

The “Embrace Your Power” campaign was announced Tuesday at a National Voter Registration Day event at Father Serra Park in Downtown Los Angeles. The announcement came just after the completion of a fast in support of Central American children escaping violence in their home countries and seeking refuge in the United States. 

Participants, some of whom fasted for as long as a week, hoped to call attention to what they call a “humanitarian crisis” on the U.S.-Mexican border. The fast and campaign are both part of a project called “Children Over Politics,” organized by the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU.

Yamilex Rustrian, 19, helped start Children Over Politics. She cannot vote because she moved to the U.S. from Guatemala at a young age. Her mission is to empower those who can vote to make their voice heard. 

President Obama and Congress have struggled for weeks to come up with a solution to the recent influx of immigrant children. "Children Over Politics" is calling on the two "to immediately grant refugee status to all children fleeing violence and do everything within your powers to ensure the protection and humane treatment of those seeking safety within our borders." 

The goal of “Embrace Your Power” is to encourage community members to vote themselves, or to help register and encourage others to vote. The campaign is encouraging individuals to record videos explaining their reasons for supporting the cause, sharing how they plan to help and challenging others to do the same, similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

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