We Need Comprehensive Immigration Reform NOW!.
Immigrants Rights activists all over the US are gearing up for immigration reforms. The goal is to push Congress to pass immigration reform legislation in the year 2010.
Reform has to happen, they say, to
- keep families together
- protect workers
- provide a path to legalizatioN
Pro Immigration Reform advocates all over the States are organizing to push for new legislation. Rep Gutierrez (D - Illinois) has submitted Bill CI A.S.A.P. HR 4321 which is already stirring controversy among activists. As history advises, the bill will undergo significant revision and watering down as it goes thrugh the Congress mill. At this point, rather than supporting a specific bill, Reform advocates suggest a set of points activists can work towards. The Madison Immigration Reform Coalition (MIRC) has adopted the following points of unity as devised by the national organization Reform Immigration for for America:
CAMPAIGN TO REFORM IMMIGRATION FOR AMERICA
The Campaign to Reform Immigration for America is a united national effort that brings together individuals and grassroots organizations with the mission to build support for workable comprehensive immigration reform. For info about the organization, the campaign, their principles and more, see
OnTuesday December 15th, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) introduced the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009" (CIR A.S.A.P.) in the House of Representatives. The bill is a sign of long awaited action to gain progress and momentum on real immigration reform. See http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-4321&tab=summary; for an overview of the bill by Immigration Reform for America, see http://reformimmigrationforamerica.org/blog/summary-of-representative-gutierrezs-cir-asap-act/
The bill has the support of members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, The Congressional Black Caucus, The Congressional Asian Pacific Americans Caucus, The Congressional Progressive Caucus, and more than 50 co-sponsors.
To announce the campaign, an on-line conference Wed 11/18/09. Sixteen thousand people joined from all over the US. In Madison, the conference was attended by about 30 people at the Centro Hispano. They were mostly Latino HS and college students concerned about their own and their families future. Eager to take action, they discussed plans to organize local events for the week of the national campaign . Voicing pride in their education, they considered contacting other organizations, taking a stand at their school, and involving legislators.
In Green Bay
On November 20th 2009, Gabriel Gonzalez, the National Campaign Director for the Center for Community Change in Washington, D.C., spoke at Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay on the current status of national immigration reform. Members of JOSUE organized the event for the immigrants in the Green Bay
area. The presentation was in Spanish with English translation available for those of us who are not bilingual.
Mr. Gonzalez said that NOW IS THE TIME for Immigration Reform.
Why? Both political parties know they need the Hispanic vote. For example, in some states more than half of the voters are Hispanic. Not only immigrants but also the general population wants practical and REAL reform now. They recognize the gifts that Hispanics and other immigrants have brought to our country. Finally, many Republicans also are ready to support immigration reform because they see it as a human rights issue.
Two factors interfere with the reform movement. First is the small right-wing base that argues against reform - for both health care and immigration. Second is TIME. Currently, all attention is focused on health care reform. If that legislation is approved, it will be historic and will improve the chance to pass immigration reform.
What can WE do? Senator Lugar and Representative Gutierrez have legislation ready to introduce once the health care debate concludes.
Hopefully this will occur by February. At that time, we should be prepared to: 1) pressure members of both political parties; 2) look for allies - such as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops - and join forces with them; 3) take action in a timely manner.
To keep abreast on what is happening, text message to "698-66 por justicia." You will get regular updates via cell phone, but then you need to ACT!
Mr. Gonzalez also applauded members of the community who attended the forum. It is most difficult to be a person of conscience in smaller cities and rural communities where immigrants stand out. But the battle will be won or lost in those places. Can we do it? Yes! "Si, se puede!"
Submitted by Sister Sally Ann Brickner, Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross