Posts Tagged ‘Immigration Reform’

After Judge’s Ruling on Arizona Immigration Law, New Yorkers Renew Call for Reform | Feet in 2 Worlds · Immigration news · Immigration reform · Immigrant communities.

By Sarah Kate Kramer • 7/30/10 • Categorized as Hispanic,Immigration News,Immigration Reform,New York

NEW YORK—The 400 plus immigrants and their supporters who marched in protest across the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday were not assuaged by a U.S. district judge’s decision to block sections of Arizona’s SB 1070, a law that would make it a crime to be in the state as an undocumented immigrant.

“It’s not really a victory until a comprehensive immigration reform passes at the federal level that is humane and unites families,” said Rishi Singh, an organizer with Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM).

“It’s a good start but it’s not enough,” said Raphael Samanez, Executive Director of VAMOS Unidos, echoing the views expressed by immigrants in Arizona after the judge’s ruling. “We’re here to say “no” to SB 1070 and “no” to comprehensive immigration reform as proposed by Schumer,” said Samanez, who believes the New York senator’s reform proposal is too enforcement heavy.

Marchers carried signs that read “boycott Arizona” and highlighed the number of migrants who have died along the border this month.

The march included members of about 20 groups based in New York, many of whom are religiously affiliated. Members of  the clergy led the walkers across the bridge.

“These people have contributed to the country—we own them a recognition of their status,” said Reverend Mark Hallinan, a Jesuit priest based in Manhattan. Hallinan said he has to battle the daily diet of anti-immigrant rhetoric his non-immigrant congregants hear on cable television. “We must remind them of how their faith calls them to respect all individuals and the dignity of workers,” he said.

Ravi Ragbir, an organizer with the New Sanctuary Coalition, a faith based organization, said the clergy is the force that can “bring people together on a rational, moral and spiritual level.” He disagreed with the notion that the federal judge’s injunction against SB 1070 was a success. “What’s sad is we’ve gotten to the point when we think we’ve reached a victory when we’ve really lost if you consider people’s mindsets, said Ragbir. “It was a loss for all humanity.”

Maria Garcia, of Brooklyn, was marching while pushing a baby stroller. She crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in 1982, coming to work in a New York sewing factory twelve hours a day for $3/hr. Garcia gained residency in 1986, in the last legalization program. “I want the same for my brothers—residency so they can work legally,” she said.

As the marchers were crossing the bridge, a voice from a car passing on the lower level screamed, “go home.”

“I am home,” said Debbie Almonstaser, who immigrated to this country when she was 3 years old, and is now the Board Chair of the Muslim Consultative Network.

A handful of SB 1070 supporters were waiting for the marchers to arrive in Foley Square.

“We will prevail anyway, otherwise there will be a civil war in this country,” said Pauline Pujol, who was protesting the march with New Yorkers for Immigration Control and Enforcement.

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21 Good Reason to Risk Deportation for the DREAM Act – Desert, Science and Hot Dogs: The Three Sonorans.

21 immigrant youth are holding sit-ins in congressional offices on Capitol Hill, risking arrest and deportation in order to draw attention to the DREAM Act, which would grant them a path to citizenship. These are their dreams – dreams that to them are well worth the risk.

Laura came to America as a 1 year old baby on Independence Day. Since then, she has finished high school, graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and become an advocate for her right to contribute to the country.

Dulce has a degree in Electrical Engineering and is a licensed realtor. She wants to start a think tank and a talent tank to resolve the world’s global issues. She says, “These are my dreams. I cannot live in political limbo for the rest of my life.”

Jose: “My mother is suffering from kidney failure. Every day she is a little closer to death. She needs the DREAM Act to allow me to be free and work. It is with this sense of urgency that I call on this nation to listen to the real voices of undocumented youth fighting for a lifeline for our families.”

Lulu: “I refuse to accept that I will never see my family again. I refuse to believe that change is not possible. I am an undocumented student and I refuse to be silenced. Today, I am fighting for my right to be free and truly be happy.”

Uriel: “When we fail to speak up, when we fail to criticize, when we fail to stand up for our ideals, and when we fail to improve the lives of those around us; it is a far greater blow to the freedom, the decency, and to the justice which truly represents this nation we call home.”

David: “The memories I have of Mexico do not feel like they are mine. They don’t feel like mine because they are from a place that is completely strange to me.”

These are just an example of the people who are protesting to become citizens of the United States, and forever leave behind an ‘Undocumented’ and ‘illegal’ status.  There are 21 great examples, of which I have provided a few to you here to check this out.

The funny thing about all of this is that these are people who have worked their asses off in and for the American system, both contributing intellectually and physically to our economy and culture every single day.  Some of these people are paying and attending classes to advance in our country, working like mules just to get a good paying job, and ultimately living up to the ever-distant ‘legal’ status and likewise, THE AMERICAN DREAM.