A project of the Center for Community Change

napolitano

Imagine 2050: In Seven Days You Can Help Defeat Anti-Immigrant Bigotry

Eric Ward, from Imagine 2050 blog, consistently produces some of the edgiest and most insightful content in the pro-migrant blogosphere. Yesterday, he outdid himself. In an action-oriented post, he outlined 7 ways to “defeat anti-immigrant bigotry”. So, everyone who reads this post must do the following (and since its Tuesday, I’m asking you to double-up and take on Monday and Tuesday’s task today – I’m sure you can manage!).

MONDAY: Email this blog to six other people who you think might be interested. Write three short sentences telling all of them why you will be participating. Ask them to participate too, and reply to your email letting you know either way.

TUESDAY: Remember all of those times when Fox News host Glenn Beck made bigoted statements about immigrants? Beck may choose to forget but let’s show him we haven’t. Beck is responsible for much of the anti-immigrant sentiment that has spread around the country. Over thirty companies agree with us and have stopped running their ads on the Glenn Beck show. Let’s help Color of Change get the message out even more. Go to http://www.colorofchange.org/beck/ and add your name!

WEDNESDAY: What can I tell you about Lou Dobbs that doesn’t already disgust you? Dobbs has falsely accused immigrants from Latin America of spreading Leprosy in the United States. When he got caught in his lies he simply lied again. CBS’s 60 Minutes didn’t buy his racist lies and neither do we. Now Media Matters is telling us that Dobbs will be participating in a national event organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a known hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s time for CNN to take responsibility. You can read the short media release by clicking here. Now, go leave a comment for CNN President Jonathan Klein at http://edition.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form1.html?35. Tell him that you read the letter Media Matters sent to him, and you demand that he respond. Let Klein know that you are disgusted that CNN is willing to use bigotry to generate profits.

THURSDAY: Today we are going to show tangible support for those who have stood up against anti-immigrant bigotry. Twice in its recent history the Sierra Club has had to fight off anti-immigrant attempts to take over its well-respected environmental organization and corrupt its mission. In 1998 and in 2004 the Sierra Club drew a strong moral barrier against anti-immigrant racism. In recent days the Sierra Club has been targeted by anti-immigrant leaders still upset by the trouncing they took. One leader, Brenda Walker, went so far as to write an article on the white nationalist website VDARE attacking the Sierra Club for its commitment to diversity. Let’s give a little love to the Sierra Club by taking five minutes to join the organization. Click here to join and let them know why! If you are already a member like me, give a gift membership to a family member or friend.

FRIDAY: Anti-immigrant Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been terrorizing members of the Latino community and their allies in Arizona under an agreement with Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano. America’s Voice points out the Napolitano, appointed by President Obama, could stop the insanity at any time with a single stroke of her pen. People have died under his custody, he has raided the offices of a newspaper that exposed his brutality, and he marched Latinos down the middle of the street in chains. Click here at the website of America’s Voice and send a message to Napolitano that “enough is enough!”

SATURDAY: Take five minutes to call a friend or family member. While catching up on the latest, be sure to spend five minutes telling them what you did this week to take a stand against anti-immigrant bigotry.

SUNDAY:
Send me an email at imag2050@gmail.com. Let me know what happened and how it went!

And I’m adding one last action to take – text JUSTICE [JUSTICIA for Spanish} to 69866 and join the Cell Phone Action Network. We will send you news and alerts so you can be at the frontlines of the fight for immigration reform.

Ok, GO!

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Groups fight “more of the same” on immigration


Last week, amidst growing frustration from immigrant rights groups and advocates, folks from FIRM groups in New York (NYIC) and Los Angeles (CHIRLA) took to the streets to protest the expansion of Bush-style immigration policies and legislation. While many of our groups (FIRM included) looked to the Obama presidency as a “New Day” for immigration, the reality of recent weeks has worn patience thin. The New York Times ran a story this week, highlighting the growing discontent and impatience.

First, there was the expansion of E-verify – a fatally flawed electronic verification system that threatens not only American workers but immigrants caught up in the endlessly bureaucratic immigration system. Then, there was the expansion of the 287g program – which gives local law enforcement the ability to enforce federal immigration law and is rife with racial profiling and abuse of power.

To be frank, we were promised a “new day” and we feel like we are seeing more of the same.

“We are expanding enforcement, but I think in the right way,” Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary, said in an interview.

There is no right way to expand flawed systems. They are just that; flawed. Of course enforcement has to be a part of a Comprehensive Immigration Package, but it should not be expanded outside of an entire overhaul of legislation. As Katy Vargas at ImmPolitic blog wrote:

There is a desperate need for broader oversight of our immigration policies. Escalating enforcement without reforming our immigration system comprehensively only exacerbates the problem and it will not render long-lasting solutions to our immigration chaos.

Last week, America’s Voice launched the “Enough” campaign, calling on the Department of Homeland Security to push for Comprehensive immigration reform, not an expansion of flawed and abusive programs. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, do it NOW. (Sign petition here)

President Obama promised a new day for immigration policy in America, but we have yet to see sufficient change coming from DHS. Rather than overhaul misguided Bush-era immigration enforcement strategies, DHS continues to pursue policies that have done little, if anything, to solve the crisis of illegal immigration.

These policies continue to increase fear in our communities and undermine public safety at a time when the nation is waiting to hear your plans for advancing real, comprehensive immigration reform.

While, on a personal level, I have been very disappointed with the recent moves from the administration (especially the expansion of 287g), I still have faith that the President is ready and willing to bring sensible solutions to the table to help fix our broken immigration system. I firmly believe that we need to keep up the pressure and make our voices heard in order to push for this. Obama (and the United States for that matter) can’t afford to not succeed on this issue.

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Who’s Running Immigration?

Today’s New York Times has a powerful editorial on immigraton enforcement under the Obama administration. Using the exmaples of Saturday’s peaceful protest against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and last week’s unexpected immigration raid in Bellingham, WA, the piece picks apart the notion that Bush-era enforcement-only tactics can somehow solve the immigration issue in this country.

An excerpt:

Americans who might applaud any crackdown on illegal immigrants, particularly in a recession, should know that scattershot raids and rampaging sheriffs are not the answer. The idea that enforcement alone will eliminate the underground economy is a great delusion. It runs up against the impossible arithmetic of mass expulsion — no conceivable regime of raids will wrench 12 million illegal immigrants from their jobs and homes.

The country is not a safer or better place because one more business and two dozen more families are torn apart outside Seattle or because Sheriff Arpaio has much of Maricopa County terrified. The system under which illegal immigrants labor, without hope of assimilation, is not any less broken. A new report from the Government Accountability Office shows that federal oversight of the 287(g) program has been sorely lacking.

So, a question: Are Mr. Obama and Ms. Napolitano in charge or not? Let them show it by ending the raids and Sheriff Arpaio’s abuses. Something has to be done about immigration, but it has to be smarter than this.

To read the full article click here.

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