Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Immigrant Rights

This 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.

The Attack:

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

Immigrants Rising

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


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!

4 comment(s):

  • Salaam - thanx for posting this info. - I think the Muslim American Society (MAS) with Imam Mahdi Brey has been organizing around immigrant rights, through the worker justice coallition. Blogger Abu Dharr may know more about this, I've been getting e-mails from them (asking for $$$).

    By Blogger redwood, at 3/29/2006 10:38:00 AM  

  • As Salaam u Alaikum,

    We have been organising around the issue for over a year now. First for legalisation, then against HR4437, and then pushing the Senate Judiciary Committee to not put out something similar to HR4437.

    We held a town hall meeting with elected officials, this past saturday. An audio recording of our event, which was testimonies by directly affected immigrants, followed by some...glossy...remarks by the politicians: http://www.radio4all.net/pub/files/siddharta5@yahoo.com/450-1-20060327-Immigrants-JacksonHeights.mp3

    PLEASE SIGN ONLINE PETITION: http://www.petitiononline.com/HR4437/

    AND PLEASE organise in your respective communities for April 10th. It will be a day of nationwide mobilization.

    Inshallah I'll try to post more on it in next couple of days. Just been too tied down with all the work going on.

    The next two weeks are critical. We have to see what direction the Senate pushes the Committee's bill in, and then what the conference does. The anti-immigrant lobby, though small, is very powerful right now.

    rab rakha,

    By Blogger malangbaba, at 3/29/2006 10:33:00 PM  

  • Thank you Fahd! I will certainly see what can be done in my community, especially seeing how the majority of the community converts and raised muslims alike are immigrants.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/30/2006 05:05:00 AM  

  • The port truckers will be demonstrating and marching in Wilmington near the L.A. Harbor on May Day - 2006.

    I suggest that we join efforts with the port trucker L.A. Harbor demonstration since that will involve actually shutting down the Los Angeles Harbor.

    The "marches and speeches and then go home" model of demonstrating is good but actually shutting down the Los Angles Harbor is a whole other dimension - it is a dimension that many cannot even conceptualize since it has been so long ago in American history that those tactics have been used.

    The port truckers are virtually 100% Chicano and/or Latino and are a high percentage immigrants as well. Of course, they are also all workers. Will the middle class and "liberal" groups support the port truckers as they attempt to hold a General Strike and close the Los Angeles Harbor.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/01/2006 01:22:00 PM  

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