Welcome! Bienvendios!

Join us as we share our views on immigrant rights and labor issues and dialogue with communities around the country about immigration reform. Please take a few minutes to read our Open Letter on immigration reform, share your thoughts, and learn how you can sign on!

Unete con nosotros mientras compartimos nuestros ideas acerca de los derechos de los inmigrantes y temas laborales y discutimos la reforma migratoria con comunidades en todo el pais. Por favor, toma algunas minutos para leer nuestra Carta Abierta de la reforma migratoria, compartir tus comentarios, y aprender como lo puedes firmar!

viernes, 1 de octubre de 2010

GIJN Will March in Solidarity at October 2nd Demonstration in Washington, D.C.

On Saturday, October 2nd, the Grassroots Immigrant Justice Network will be participating in the "One Nation Working Together" march in Washington, D.C. We will be meeting at 14th and Constitution on Saturday at 10:30 am and marching in solidarity with the Black is Back and Anti-war contingents. Please feel free to join us in solidarity! Below is a letter on immigrant rights that we will be distributing at the march.

Este sabado, el 2 de octubre, el Grassroots Immigrant Justice Network estara participando en la marcha "One Nation Working Together" en Washington, D.C. Vamos a juntarnos en 14th y Constitution el sabado a las 10:30 de la manana y marcharemos en solidaridad con los grupos Black is Back y Anti-war. Sientense libres de juntarse con nosotros en solidaridad! Abajo es una carta acerca de los derechos de los inmigrantes que vamos a distribuir en la marcha.

Let’s Join Our Voices Together for Immigrant Rights

This letter was initiated by the Grassroots Immigrant Justice Network, a group which was recently formed by leaders in the immigrant rights and labor movements across the country. Initial members include Isabel Garcia, David Silva Villalobos, Carlos Arango, Juan Jose Bocanegra, Nativo Lopez, David Bacon, Lisa Luinenburg, Cristobal Cavazos, John Steinbach, Daniela Ortiz-Bahamonde, George Shriver, Eduardo Quintana, Jason McGahan, Manuel Barrera, and Domingo Gonzales.

We are gathered here today to rally under the phrase “One Nation Working Together.” We are here because we all want better jobs, equal access to housing, and a good education for our children. The Grassroots Immigrant Justice Network supports the statement made by Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report, “Let’s Have a Real Protest, not a Democratic Pep Rally, on October 2nd.” (see www.blackagendareport.com) In order for our struggles for justice to be successful, the immigrant community must stand in solidarity with communities of color and with workers around the country. The anti-war movement, the movement for economic justice and workers rights’, the immigrant rights movement, and other social movements all have struggles in common and we will make our voices heard today as we stand together.

In the midst of an uncertain political climate, we are proposing a different approach to discussing the issue of immigration; one that is based on the needs and wants of the immigrant community. We need to generate a national debate based on immigration as a labor mobility and human rights issue, not as an issue of national security and enforcement. Immigrants have made vast contributions to the U.S., and they should be granted the right to live here legally and without fear. We should recognize migration as the global phenomenon it is and address the root economic causes of migration.

The principles guiding the national debate around immigration reform should consist of:

1. Build bridges between the peoples of the U.S. and Mexico instead of walls that segregate them and turn them into competitors in a struggle for survival. Take immediate action to stop the deaths along the border and end border militarization.

2. Analyze the effects of free trade agreements like NAFTA on the economies of “sender” countries. End all economic and foreign policies that leave people in “sender” countries with no choice but to migrate in order to support their families.

3. Provide a clear and easy legalization program for the millions of undocumented immigrants who have built their homes here and contributed greatly to the prosperity of the U.S. economy. All immigrants deserve the full rights accorded to U.S. citizens, not a second-class status.

4. Clear the backlogs of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have been waiting to legalize their status since the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Allow more families to reunite with their loved ones by expanding the definition of “family” under current immigration law.

5. Bracero-style guest worker programs and other forms of labor exploitation should be eliminated, and the labor system made to benefit workers and their families, not corporations and agribusiness. Increased labor protections for immigrant workers should also include the freedom of movement between jobs and across national borders.

6. End the criminalization of work through the use of 1-9 audits, E-verify, “silent raids,” and other tactics used to carry out mass firings of workers. All workers, immigrants included, have the right to work and seek work without the fear of retaliation.

7. Immigrants and their families have the right to live in their communities without fear. Stop the raids and deportations, end ‘enforcement first’ policies like 287(g) and Secure Communities, eliminate the privatization of the detention system, and decriminalize the status of undocumented workers. Extend equal rights to all by ratifying the International Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers.


The organizers of this rally have also included a call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in their demands on Washington. However, instead of a grassroots, community solution to problems that have plagued our immigration system, this phrase has been used by politicians to mean more militarization, more attacks on immigrant workers, and a long, arduous path to citizenship.

Now more than ever, we are living in a time of great uncertainty, when political, verbal, and physical attacks on immigrants are becoming increasingly common place. Immigrant workers and their families are living in a place of increasing fear, while politicians debate laws to take away birthright citizenship and detention centers are constantly filled with people waiting to be torn from their families. Recent proposals for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, such as Gutierrez’s CIR ASAP and Schumer’s REPAIR proposal, focus on increased enforcement and limited paths to citizenship, and have become political deadweights with little hope of being passed.

In fact, instead of protecting worker’s rights, recent Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposals have included tools used to conduct workplace raids, break unions, and fire workers by the thousands. E-verify is already being used by many companies to check the immigration status of new hires, but the REPAIR proposal goes even farther. It includes a plan for a nation-wide biometric ID system that would affect not just immigrant workers, but all workers. CIR proposals also allow the continued use of I-9 audits (also known as “silent raids”) and home raids, which have often targeted union organizers and funnel immigrant workers into the for-profit detention system.

At the same time, companies that have been exploiting immigrant workers often face few consequences for their abuse. Guest worker programs are offered as a solution for the “labor shortage” we face, yet politicians fail to recognize that these programs were notorious for their exploitation of immigrant workers in the past. Instead of focusing on the root causes of migration, such as economic trade policies like NAFTA, U.S. companies remain free to exploit immigrant labor.

These proposals for Comprehensive Immigration Reform have also included provisions to increase militarization of the border and to draft low-income students of color into the military. The DREAM Act would give the children of undocumented immigrants the option to either attend a university or join the military in order to “earn” their papers. Meanwhile, thousands of Latino students drop out of high school every year and will never have the opportunity to go to college at all. The poverty draft has affected communities of color for decades, and this is no exception. After the DREAM Act was recently attached to the Defense Department’s appropriations bill, student organizer Raúl Al-qaraz Ochoa wrote in a passionate letter, “Passage of the DREAM Act would definitely be a step forward in the struggle for Migrant Justice. Yet the politicians in Washington have hijacked this struggle from its original essence and turned dreams into ugly political nightmares.”


Immigrant workers provide some of the most needed services in the U.S., but are treated like second-class citizens and daily face the threat of separation from their families. Immigrant workers are facing many of the same problems and discrimination that have affected working class communities of color in the past and present. Instead of allowing politicians to divide and conquer, we must stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters as “One Nation Working Together.” We must recognize that our struggles are inextricably linked. Now is the time to engage with our communities in honest dialogue and continue to hold our elected officials accountable to the vision of justice coming from the immigrant communities that make up our nation. As we stand shoulder to shoulder today in Washington, D.C., we raise our voices together: “We shall overcome! ¡Vencerémos!”

To learn more about the Grassroots Immigrant Justice Network
or to sign our Open Letter on Immigration Reform, please visit: www.grassrootsimmigrantjusticenetwork.blogspot.com.
We appreciate your support!

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario