A broad-based and powerful peace and social justice movement is on the move! Millions of people poured into the streets a few weeks ago across America to protest the criminalization of undocumented immigrants, now at greater risk than ever before of detention and deportation. Imagine as a US citizen you are told that your undocumented parents might be incarcerated and deported. Recent bills have been introduced in both the House and the Senate aimed at creating a new enemy in America -- hardworking immigrants. And they could be your relatives.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would, if passed into law: 1) expand the grounds of deportation; 2) use domestic military bases for immigration detention; 3) legalize the indefinite detention of non-citizens; 4) authorize local officers to enforce federal immigration laws; 5) erect a border fence; 6) enable Homeland Security agents to expel suspected foreigners indiscriminately; and 7) create a national identification system for all workers, among other measures. Recent passage of House Bill, H.R. 4437 criminalizes anyone providing assistance to undocumented immigrants.
No matter where you stand on U.S. immigration policy, what is currently being promoted by some of our elected officials is undeniably counter to the values of justice and equality. And it is exactly those values that we hold dear when we strive for a peaceful foreign policy. In order to promote its war policies based on fear and violence, the U.S. government relies on portraying immigrants of color, whether they be Iraqi, Afghani, Mexican or Salvadorian, as a security risk, and implying that their lives and rights are less valuable than those of U.S. citizens. If we wish to create a diverse movement for peace, we must confront both the foreign and domestic policies that create divisions between those who would be our sisters and brothers, and make peace with the millions of immigrants trying to eke out a life within the U.S. borders.
Recognizing these connections, leaders from diverse ethnic communities, labor, religious groups and anti-war groups have been standing together to call on Congress to respect the rights of immigrants. Now, in an unprecedented show of common ground, immigrants' rights activists will march together with the anti-war movement on April 29 in New York. On May 1 we will join actions for immigration reform and justice all over the country. Please join us! You can also click here to see what events are happening in your area, including the general boycott of work, school and shops.
We look forward to standing with our brothers and sisters in the immigrant community to work for policies that respect our values of fairness; provide a clear path to earned citizenship; make immigration safe, legal, and orderly; unite families; and ensure workplace and civil rights protections for everyone.
Click here to read Global Exchange's 10 reasons to support Immigrant rights.
Si Se Puede!
Allison, Dana, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Medea, Meredith, Nancy, Rae and Tiffany
P.S. Mother's Day is fast approaching. Join us in DC, organize an event in your community. Whatever you decide, make Mother's Day a day to work for peace and justice.