Immigrant RightsThis was posted on a messageboard that I co-moderate focused on social justice. I thought it gave a good basic overview of the controversy over immigrant rights happening in the U.S. of A right now.
Not only was the march on March 27th hugely successful, but there have been similar rallies all across the country. High school students have walked out in solidarity with friends and family effected, this exercise in free speech and democracy by the largely latino immigrant community has been educational and empowering to many youth as well as adults. If anyone has any information on the participation and/or reaction of any Muslim communities, I'd be glad to read about it.
Less than three months ago, the leadership of the House of Representatives, in a vicious act of "drive-by" legislating, rushed through a bill that experts consider to be the most anti-immigrant piece of legislation in the United States in 80 years.
Here are some of the lowlights of the Sensenbrenner bill, HR 4437:
11 million undocumented immigrants would be declared "aggravated felons" for having come to this country to do back-breaking work at low wages in order to feed their families. Priests, nuns, health care workers and other helpers would be threatened with jail time for assisting the undocumented. Local police would have to enforce federal immigration laws, undermining community policing strategies meant to build confidence between police and immigrant communities.
Day labor sites would be shut down by federal law, overruling the hard work of activists and enlightened local communities attempting to solve problems caused in part by Congressional inaction on comprehensive immigration reform.
Seven hundred miles of walls would be built between the United States and our friendly neighbors to the south, an act that has touched off a diplomatic crisis with Latin America.
The bill has been sent to the Senate and is expected to reach the
senate floor as early as Tuesday, 3/28.
For more information about the specifics of this bill, check out these links:
Over the past week, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets all over the country in protest of, and resistance to, this bill.
Here's some links:
Saturday's Immigrant Rights March: Who kicked the sleeping giant?
Record crowd of 500,000 protests proposed federal crackdown
SF activists on hunger strike for undocumented immigrants
Immigrant Rights Protests Spread -- New Chapter in Civil Rights Movement
A Day Without Latinos' in Milwaukee
Over 500,000 Protest Anti-Immigrant Law in Downtown Los Angeles
Hunger Strike and Week of Actions to Stop Anti-Immigrant Bills
Catholics organizing against HR 4437
Justice For Immigrants
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1) make a simple call to the senate…
Call Senator Frist:
I OPPOSE Senator Frist's decision to bypass the Judiciary Committee and put his enforcement-only bill on the Senate floor!
I SUPPORT reform that provides legalization, protects the rights of workers, and unites families.
SENATOR BILL FRIST: Washington, D.C. 202-224-3344 or Nashville, TN
Senator Feinstein also needs to hear the same message: 415-393-0707
If you are outside of California, call your senators…you can find their phone numbers at
Senate Phone Numbers
If you are not in the SF Bay area, I'd suggest checking your local imc (indymedia.org) or other social justice centers; there's a good chance there is organizing against this bill going on in your community.
If you are in the Bay area, tomorrow, Monday March 27, there are several events to check out.
First of all, the
Hunger strike that has been happening all week at
the Federal Building in San Francisco for more info) …will
conclude with a march at 11 am from the Federal Building (450 Golden
Gate @ Larkin) to Dianne Feinstein's office (Market and Montgomery)
and a Press event/rally at noon at Market and Montgomery.
The Hunger strikers will be joined at noon by the Latino War Resisters march, which began in Tijuana, and concludes on Monday at Dolores park; the schedule of events and a link for more info is below.
The schedule for the Latno War Resisters March on March 27th will be as follows:
7:30 am Fruitvale BART, Oakland
8:05 am Blessing at St. Elizabeth's on 34th Ave.
10:30 am Rally at Laney College (BART across Bay)
12 noon Montgomery & Market, SF - Join Immigrant Rights Hunger Strike
3:15 pm Brief stop at Mission High School, 18th & Dolores
5 pm Dolores Park - Culminating Ceremony
The March for Peace is a 241-mile march which aims to ensure that the Latino voice for opposition to the war is heard across America. Fernando Suarez del Solar, Pablo Paredes, Camilo Meija, and Aidan Delgado will lead marchers in a quest for peace, which started from Tijuana, Mexico, on March 12th.
More info: Guerrero Azteca
The joining of the hunger strikers against HR 4437 and the Latino vets against the war is an obvious and inspiring connecting of issues. This is a great space to come out against the war and for justice for immigrants. Lots of immigrant communities plan to turn out for the march that begins at Mission high at 3:15. Those of us who are descendants of European immigrants should turn out, too!
Thank you for reading this long email!
Against War! For Immigrant Justice!