Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On March 21, Diversified Leaders For Immigration Reform Expect More Than 100,000 People In Washington D.C.

Lack of Immigration Reform by the majority of Democrats in Congress, Obama's administration and President Barack Obama himself, has ignited another major surge to bring the issue forward

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 10, 2010

Washington D.C. -On Sunday, March 21, a diversified group of leaders and organizations representing labor, people of faith, and communities from across the country will converge in Washington D.C. at 2:00 p.m. in front of the Lincoln Memorial to demand that the U.S. Congress and President Barack H. Obama address one of our nation’s most pressing issue, Immigration Reform and the broken down immigration system. The "March for America" gathering at the nations capitol expects more than 100,000 participants, which is being organized by more than 700 groups and organizations from throughout the country.
This year, the organizing multi-organization/group leadership is targeting Congress and Obama's lack of leadership to pass a fair immigration reform bill in the last year, as promised by Obama while he campaigned for President in 2008.
Obama's Health Care reform stalled any passage of immigration reform and divided Congress and the country on the health issue. The Heath Care bill failed to pass.
The nation's economic crisis resulting in a recession and the war on terrorism and the two war fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan costing the U.S. billions of dollars has pushed immigration reform even deeper under the table or agenda.
This year, the gathering in Washington D.C. on March 21 has generated fewer participants compared to the massive immigration reform rallies in 2006. On April 10, 2006, between 500,000 to 1.2 million people gathered in Washington D.C. to push for Immigration Reform, and to protest HR-4437, which would criminalize anyone who helped an undocumented immigrant. At least over 3-4 million people united, organized and went out and marched for immigration reform in 2006.
The movement was sparked by the most discriminatory legislative bill HR-4437 ever authored by Republican U.S. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Sensenbrenner's bill would have criminalize undocumented workers and penalize those who helped them. HR-4437 was easily defeated in Congress, but help unite Latinos throughout the nation.
The immigration reform movement and the get out the vote campaign by Hispanics to prevent their families from being deported led to the defeat of Republican control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, stunning former President George W. Bush (Rep.), his cabinet and administration that same year.
Thus, paving the way for Presidential candidate Barack H. Obama, U.S. Senator, (IL-Dem.) to get elected U.S. President in November 2008. Obama while campaigning promised Latinos, and supporters of immigration reform, he would address and help pass a comprehensive immigration bill during his first year as president elect. During Obama's first year, 100 days went by and no immigration bill was ever passed and a year went by, and again, nothing was passed.
On January 28, 2010, President Obama's State of the Union Address lacked appeal for Hispanics, he talked about a jobs bill, economy, and unity, limiting only 37 words of his speech to the immigration issue. "I'm interested in protecting our economy... And 'we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system -– to secure our borders and enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation'," Obama briefly said.
On December 15, 2009, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (IL-Dem.) introduced an Immigration bill, known as the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security And Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009, H.R 4321, which is legislation that secures our nation's economy, keeps families together, and secures our borders while fixing our broken immigration system.
Earlier that year on July 22, 2009, an article posted by CBS News "Immigration Violated Rights" cited a report by the Immigration Justice Clinic at Yeshiva University that said, raids conducted by U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (U.S. ICE) in New York and New Jersey, as well as in other states violated the rights of immigrants. U.S. ICE used mostly administrative warrants, instead of judicial warrants and forced their way into homes late at night or at early morning hours while people slept. Administrative warrants by U.S. ICE require permission from household residents before entering a home, and entering without consent violate constitutional right to protection against unreasonable searches.
The report revealed in Long Island, 86 percent of arrest records from 100 raids between January 2006 and April 2008 showed no record of consent being given. In northern and central New Jersey, no record of consent being given was found for 24 percent of about 600 arrests in 2006 and 2007, the report found.
Immigration agents raiding homes for suspected illegal immigrants violated the U.S. Constitution by entering without proper consent and may have used racial profiling, a report analyzing arrest records found.
Latinos made up a disproportionate number of the people arrested who were not the stated targets of the raids, and many of their arrest reports gave no basis for why they were initially seized, said the report, which was based on data from raids in New York and New Jersey.
In June 2009, a federal judge in Connecticut ruled that federal ICE agents violated the constitutional rights of four illegal immigrants in a 2007 raid under similar issues. The judge ruled the immigration agents went into the immigrants' homes without warrants, probable cause or their consent, and he put a stop to deportation proceedings against the four defendants, the CBS News report said.
Last month, U.S. ICE closed the Varick Detention Center in Manhattan, and 230 of 300 detainees were moved to the Hudson County Jail in Kearny, New Jersey. Some of the detainees were relocated to facilities to far for family members to visit them or to provide financial support. Medical attention is very poor and virtually has no dental care available.
Community activists tried to get U.S. ICE to release some of the detainees with a monitoring ankle bracelet costing U.S. ICE $12 instead of $111 the Hudson County Jail in Kearney charges a day per detainee in a contract agreement with U.S. ICE, according to a report by El Diario Newspaper in New York in February.
Some of the participants were from the Detention Watch Network, a national coalition that educates the public and policymakers about the immigration detention and deportation system.
The detention system, the activists charge, is an utter disaster. Each year, more than 300,000 immigrants are "funneled through a secretive web of over 350 immigrant detention centers," they said. One of these was the privately operated Varick center that closed.
More than 80% of the detainees go through the immigration system without a lawyer, the group said. Many are denied their day in court because of arbitrary detention laws and policies that limit judicial discretion.
The horrific conditions detained immigrants endure have been well-documented in the press. Mistreatment by guards, solitary confinement, denial of medical attention, limited or no access to their families, lawyers and the outside world make for a veritable human rights scandal.
In many cases, the activists said, "these conditions have proven fatal: Since 2003, a reported 107 people have died in immigration custody," the New York Daily reported in February.
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that lawmakers working to craft a new comprehensive immigration bill have settled on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card all American workers would eventually be required to obtain.
Under the potentially controversial plan still taking shape in the Senate, all legal U.S. workers, including citizens and immigrants, would be issued an ID card with embedded information, such as fingerprints, to tie the card to the worker. The effort is led by U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (N.Y.-Dem.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.-Rep.), and will meet with President Obama this week to discuss immigration reform.
The national biometric identification card is being opposed by the ACLU. "It is fundamentally a massive invasion of people's privacy," said Chris Calabrese, Legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "We're not only talking about fingerprinting every American, treating ordinary Americans like criminals in order to work. We're also talking about a card that would quickly spread from work to voting to travel to pretty much every aspect of American life that requires identification," the Wall Street Journal reported. 
President Obama has yet to realized the actual economic contributions the Latino population has injected into the American economy and its projected economic power. A meaningful way to help the crisis, is by using common sense for a steady, secured, and a rapid American economic recovery by passing Congressman Gutierrez comprehensive reform bill. The bill would allow good standing undocumented immigrants to legally work, keep families together, and pay their fair share of taxes making our economy stronger.
Hispanics will change the profile of American society in the next 30 years, and will continue to increase the percentage of the American Consumer Base. Even Consumers Union who publishes Consumer Reports 2010, had the report translated into Spanish "Guía de Compras 2010" to tap into the 2013 projected $1.3 trillion U.S. Hispanic buying power, which includes undocumented workers.
On Wednesday, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC)  announced through a press release that its membership will protest across America on April 15, 2010 in conjunction with existing Tea Party events. ALIPAC will protest the current push for what it's calling Amnesty legislation in Washington D.C. and as a counter measure to the 'March For America' marches held nationally on March 21 to support a Comprehensive Immigration bill sponsored by Congressman Luis Gutierrez.
"Despite the fake polls, bought and paid for by the Open Borders Lobby groups, the truth remains that 80% of Americans oppose Amnesty for illegal aliens and turning millions of illegals into voters would have a catastrophic effect on America," said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "We will be sending tens of thousands of people out to support Tea Party events on April 15 to properly represent public opposition to illegal immigration and Amnesty for illegals." ALIPAC is considered an anti-immigrant organization by pro-immigration reform activists.
The Tea Party membership are mostly extreme conservative Republicans who opposed President Obama's Health Care Plan, but supported former President George W. Bush (Rep.) administration and its policies that led the U.S. into a recession.
Last month, Joshau Hoyt, Executive Director, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights during a press conference in Chicago along with a diverse group of leaders announced they were organizing and their goal was to take 10,000 people, 200 buses to Washington D.C. for this historic rally. We are proud to say that there are 104 buses already going to Washington, D.C., organized by students, churches, and immigrant rights organizations, announced Hoyt.
In a press release statement, Hoyt said, Our nation needs for our President Obama and Congressional leaders such as our Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Majority Whip, to step up and assume their leadership responsibilities on the issue of immigration.
Our immigration laws must reflect both the interests and values that we share as Americans, and the status quo is bad for our nation.
We cannot have national security and secure borders without immigration reform that requires that immigrants step forward and register.
We cannot rebuild our economy while continuing to allow illegal employers to undercut wages for all workers by exploiting immigrant labor.
America is both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants and our values are betrayed when politicians are too frightened to pursue solutions while we are destroying 400,000 families a year – most with U.S. citizen members – through deportations. We will tell our President Obama and our Senator Dick Durbin, “Change Takes Courage.”
It is time for our President and Congress to stop hiding from the truth: our Nation needs practical and fair comprehensive immigration reform.
With overwhelming majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives there are no excuses for Democratic politicians to hide from their responsibility for solutions to tough problems like immigration reform. There are no excuses for Republicans to not engage in bi-partisan problem solving, Hoyt stated during the press conference.

The following Internet link for the Feb. 22, 2010, "March for America" Chicago Press Conference is provided:

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