By Javier Rodriguez        Los Angeles       31 May 2017

Friends Family Media, This is a must! As you all may know, during the immigrant Springs of 2006 to 2007, I was the director and principal strategist for the March 25 Coalition. During this intense 14 month period full of momentum, millions were mobilized in hundreds of cities nationally, and, more millions through the “Great American Boycott I and II”.  Additionally, through a historical and psychological view of the conduct of the Latino media, we were able to tailor an inclusive parallel plan to influence and motivate them to move our message, with us as the principal messengers.

The unprecedented mega marches, which had no ending in sight, pressured the Federal Legislature to the point they 1.) Placed the infamous, xenophobic Republican Sensenbrenner Bill HR4437, into the trash bin of history and 2.) The progressive and liberal wings in Congress and the Senate, along with moderate Republicans, subsequently introduced, not one but two, comprehensive Immigration Reform bills. One with a path to legalization and a 15 year wait to citizenship.

However, although the Republican George W. Bush occupied the White House, the bills were blocked by a majority right wing Congress. Similar to the Republican obstruction applied during all the Obama Presidency. In 2013, the U.S. Senate approved a comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, not too different than the bipartisan proposal of 2007, but, it never reached the House floor. Three years later, President Obama issued an unprecedented Executive Order named DAPA, stipulating a continuous three year stay to 5 million undocumented immigrants with U.S. born children, allowing a work permit, as well as expanding the successful Youth Program DACA, in effect since April 2012. The violent Republican machine used the known activist conservative 5TH District Federal Appeals Court to do the dirty work. The ruling by this bench was a predictable “NIET” and blocked Obama’s historical order.

In the Trump era, this year’s traditional May Day National Marches for 2017 were a good show of force that I estimate reached a respectable 200,000 people from coast to coast, with California responsible for half the crowds. 

The awaited Republican response arrived last week with more disguised silent raids netting 188 immigrants on the ground. Moreover, on Wednesday May 24, the Republican controlled House Judicial Committee, voting on party lines, approved the “Michael Davis Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act H.R. 2431”.

This is by far the most aggressive piece of legislation against the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants and their families, since Donald Trump took office.  Just as the Sensenbrenner Bill of 11 years ago, it criminalizes immigrants by making their presence a national “good all American” misdemeanor. Plus, all local and state enforcement agencies in America will be compelled to enforce immigration laws. The bill also calls for an added force of 12,500 ICE agents, equipped with new lethal weaponry, to hunt down the millions of undocumented. It will also make it easier to hold these immigrants in detention centers, and finally, by de facto, it will attempt to outlaw “Sanctuary Cities,” by cutting federal funds.

In retrospect, if we had really unified and mobilized this year half the millions moved in 2006-07, what would have been the anti-immigrant war machine’s response?

Javier Rodriguez, a leading activist co-founded and directed the March 25 Coalition 2006-11