If ever there was doubt about the source of America’s vitriol and hate-mongering when it comes to the American humanitarian crisis surrounding immigration, look no further:
These statements come from the House Republicans’ Principles on Immigration reform and a mailer during the primary campaign of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Each perpetuates a frighteningly common trend in American politics: an eagerness to blame victims instead of proposing meaningful solutions to our most pressing problems as a country. Sentiments like these don’t speak to a nation of unlimited possibility and opportunity, and they certainly fail to capture the rich and complex history of American immigration.
Over the course of our nation’s history, immigrants have traditionally moved to some of the U.S.’s largest cities consolidating the perception that immigration is an urban concern. But the truth is in the latter part of the twentieth century, immigrants have been moving to rural towns. And like waves of immigrants before them they are shaping and revitalizing communities they join.
“I’m probably the last guy you’d expect to see pushing for immigration reform. But the fact is, rural towns across America need immigration reform the most. Past generations of immigrants built rural America; new generations are revitalizing it,” said John Bechtel, mayor of Wilder, Idaho – population 1,533. Continue reading
By Nicole Brown
Center for Intercultural Organizing
Last week when I received a call from Multnomah County Chair Marissa Madrigal and then from Sheriff Daniel Staton, I wondered if the sheriff might finally be reconsidering his policy on holding immigrants in jail at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
But I never could have anticipated this conversation – or what followed. Continue reading
Delaying defense is one of the oldest tactics of war. It’s as much a psychological one as it is strategic. The goal is to wear down the opposition until they become weak, hungry or distracted. Our immigrant rights movement hasn’t been immune to it.
Now there is no longer time for delay: two million deportations is a clear message and a rallying cry that we cannot and will not be ignored.
The immigrant reform movement built great power during the electoral battle of 2012, vast armies of strong, fearless leaders were created as we went door-to-door registering people to vote. Continue reading
The fight for fair and humane immigration reform is about respecting the dignity and humanity of all immigrants across the U.S. It is a fight for family unity. But this fight is also about the evolving definition of citizenship.
Citizenship is a guarantee against deportation; a protection against fear and reprisals. Any immigrant, regardless of status, can be deported – whether they are undocumented, a permanent resident with children who are U.S. citizens, or married to a U.S. citizen. Even a minor mistake on your application for citizenship can jeopardize your status in the country and launch you into deportation proceedings.
Providing a meaningful pathway to citizenship means guaranteeing a predictable route – and a future – for those who want to become citizens. To have citizenship in the U.S. means that you get to be a full human – with full rights. Being a citizen means that you can vote.
So let’s be blunt, voting is the real problem.
Across the nation, families, business owners, and police officers are calling on lawmakers to bring fairness to all in need of driver’s licenses – an item that many simply take for granted as an award for learning the rules of the road.
But for millions of undocumented residents throughout the U.S., the denial of this basic driving privilege has stifled their way of life.
Regardless of citizenship status, all can agree that daily activities require driving. Basic tasks like getting to and from medical care facilities, taking or picking up children from school, participating in family curricular activities, and traveling to and from work, unduly burdens the unlicensed. It also strains states’ limited financial resources.
Denying driver’s licenses to undocumented residents is a law that creates more harm than good and it needs to be changed.
Last fall, in the final push to convince legislators to pass immigration reform – voices that had so far been quiet, spoke up. They were dairymen, potato growers, and ranchers and business owners. They are the voices of rural America.
Small towns and rural communities are the heart and soul of our country. They are the places where many of us grew up; the places where we formed our values and learned about the importance of family and relationships.
Families are at the heart of the push to fix our broken immigration system, this is something rural communities understand well. Continue reading
Re-Posted from the Institute for Pragmatic Practice (www.pragmaticpractice.org)
In the last four decades, mass incarceration and immigration control in the United States has skyrocketed. Our nation has become an engine that pulls people from their communities, removing them from the very fabric that gives them their humanity. Over-policing of everyday lives has made the simple act of walking down one’s street a criminal act. The criminalization of communities is evermore presenting itself as a system of violence against them.
The Institute for Pragmatic Practice held an incredible symposium October 17-18, that brought voice to those affected by incarceration. Cell Blocks and Border Stops: Transformation in the age of dehumanization brought faces to those who have been invisible behind walls and in communities that are left behind. Continue reading
(Post written by Alain Nahimana, posted online by David Fleishman)
Sharing resources between organizations includes putting people on the ground, side-by-side.
It gave me a sense that whether the work we do is statewide or on a federal level, the challenges we face are the same. My name is Alain Nahimana and I am an organizer with Maine People’s Alliance. A community organizer can work in all environments, not only in his/her community.
I was joined by a MPA member Sonia Irambona and Grady Burns, canvasser. The three of us were set down in some of Virginia’s toughest turf to canvass for immigration reform. Harold Folley of Virginia Organizing even made sure we had the number for the police handy. These were towns considered hostile, right in the middle of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s district. (Virginia’s 7th District) Continue reading
We have the votes. Supporters of immigration reform in the House of Representatives have said it on many occasions, even before the Congressional recess, that the votes exist in the House to pass immigration reform.
Delaying the vote seems to be the House opposition’s approach to waiting for the immigration reform movement to divide itself, disengage from the efforts, or even disperse. Continue reading