By Javier Rodriguez from Hecho en Mexico 22 March 2003
The National Movement for Immigrants and the Political Process is Moving at a Fast Pace
Last week the national movement for a Comprehensive Immigration Bill with a Pathway to Citizenship for 11 Million immigrants successfully pressured congress with 582,000 calls, texts and faxes and it was done in 7 days the week before, along with 200 other media events in the country. An amazing feat. This goes to what I have been saying for months that a social movement for immigration reform is alive and well and that this struggle and its process is moving fast like a bullet train. It has built a momentum with significant accomplishments that has placed immigration reform and the legalization of our people in the front of the national agenda making the victory a lot closer that has ever been in 27 years of constant organization and defense of immigrants.
The recent calls from some sectors that I consider marginalized, who are attempting to enter the maturing and ongoing political and organizing process and are doing it in the most arrogant form possible, aggressively thinking and declaring that immigrants don’t have a voice or a real movement and therefore they are coming in to offer “the real McCoy,” a real immigration reform led by a “real coalition” with a real clear direction.
The blatant approach and framework they present, does not part from being part of the social forces, which for example, accomplished the feat of almost 600,000 lobbying calls mentioned, nor does it part from having participated in wresting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals from the administration, and that now protects an estimated 1.8 million youth from deportation, providing the benefits of a SS, a drivers license, entry to the job market and to education, the right to travel and finally a more secure future.
When this measure was approved by Barack Obama, as far as I saw online, and I am an avid reader, there were no congratulatory posts saluting the victory nor is the monumental move mentioned in their calls, or used as part of their political conversation. Additionally many of the well intentioned brothers and sisters don’t provide a list of 60 Senators or 218 Congresspersons or the political parties, who will carry the water for them. By this I mean, write their proposals into bills, submit them into the Senate and the House and defend them. As well, identifying the necessary support from all sectors of society, mainstream media included, to build their momentum, enter the national conversation –what the already existing movement has constructed or even like the Occupy movement once had- or the present support the immigration reform movement has nationally. ZAZ, Javier
*Javier Rodriguez is a journalist and a media and political strategist. A long time social activist, he directed the mass street mobilizations in 1982-86 that led up to the Amnesty Law IRCA of 1986. He was the initiator and directed the making of the 1.7 million historical immigration march in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006 as well as the May 1st 2006 Great American Boycott. He is presently involved in building La Universidad Obrera de Mexico-Los Angeles and recently completed his third trip thru Mexico in a year, observing and writing about the country’s political process, the aftermath of a highly questioned presidential election, the drug war and migrants. Blog Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Immigration Reform “Office Hours” Week Five
America’s Voice | Released on 03/22/2013
Today, America’s Voice Education Fund and fellow immigration experts held the fifth in a series of weekly press briefings, or “Immigration Reform “Office Hours.” Each week, a different and diverse group of speakers will share the latest information on the players, politics, legislation and other developments coming down the pipeline as the debate in Congress moves forward.
Moderated by Frank Sharry, Executive Director at America’s Voice Education Fund, the call featured Eddie Carmona, Campaign Manager, PICO’s Campaign for Citizenship; Sue Chinn, Campaign Manager at the Alliance for Citizenship; Rabbi Mark S. Diamond, Regional Director of AJC Los Angeles; Tom Snyder, Campaign Manager for Immigration, AFL-CIO; and Raquel Terán, Arizona State Director for Mi Familia Vota Education Fund. Speakers discussed this week’s political happenings, and reported on events taking place in key congressional districts and states over the Easter recess to press for action on commonsense immigration reform.
Sue Chinn, Campaign Manager of the Alliance for Citizenship, explained “As members of Congress head back home for Easter Recess, our movement is growing stronger and momentum for reform is growing stronger everyday. We want to be very clear: We have a movement that is ready to deliver immigration reform. The Time is NOW for immigration reform and we must put 11 million people on the path to citizenship, once and for all.”
The Alliance for Citizenship described their efforts last week during the National Week of Calls to Congress. They generated over 582,000 contacts to members of Congress (calls, electronic communications and faxes) urging the passage of a comprehensive bill with a pathway to citizenship for 11 Million Americans in-waiting. During the upcoming recess, A4C and its partner organizations are planning more than 200 events (from rallies to vigils, legislative visits, and other media events) in 43 states around the country. In coordination with Americas Voice, Reform Immigration for America, Moveon.org, Credo, and local organizations, A4C will help gather petitions in 15 states and deliver them to key Senators.
How did we build an immigrant movement? We learned from gay rights advocates.
By Frank Sharry,
Mar 22, 2013 07:35 PM EDT
The Washington PostFriday, March 22, 12:35 PM
Frank Sharry is the founder and executive director of America’s Voice.
There is something about being under attack that makes a movement stronger.
I’ve been an advocate for immigrants for 30 years, working with Central Americans in Boston and policymakers in Washington. And for a long time, my colleagues and I assumed that if we developed strong reform ideas and clever lobbying strategies, we’d help create a road map to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in America.