With Immigration Reform occupying people’s attention and some praising the “Gang of 8” for introducing S.744 bill, I feel that in order for a true immigration reform to be pass, it is going to come from the movement of the people. History has shown that if the people mobilize and shut down cities nationwide with their nonviolent and peaceful demonstrations then our “elected officials” will have no choice but to listen to the demands of the people.
Every country has a turning point. Every country has an issue that awakens the masses. Every country sooner or later comes to the realization that they cannot continue to exploit or contaminate peoples mind anymore. That turning point is NOW! That issue is Immigration! That realization is TODAY!
The bill, S.744, “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, And Immigration Modernization Act,” that is being debated is nothing more than an opportunity for both parties, especially the Republicans to try to persuade the Latino vote in the midterm elections of 2014.
Immigration comprehensive reform comes out of people’s mouths daily but what does that mean? People have been led to believe that comprehensive reform is something positive. But for who? Maybe for politicians who can use there stance on the immigration bill as a way to win votes for there upcoming campaigns of 2014. But, how is a bill that does not include LGBTQIA immigrant families comprehensive reform? There are many amendments in the bill that do not favor the people its trying to help.
A bill that calls for people to be citizens in 13 years sounds to me like 11 million individuals will be stuck in a maze. This “Immigration Reform” has the blueprint to brainwash people and make them believe that the Immigration problem has been fixed. A bill put together by the “Gang of 8,” is supposed to fix the problem of Immigration! Who is drinking that Kool-Aid?! If Democrats and Republicans can’t see eye to eye on several issues, what makes people think that in the name of “compromise,” they will put their differences aside and fix this problem?
A lot has been talked about Amnesty and the moment the A-word gets mentioned, conservatives start to panic. But, it was 1986, under Ronald Reagan that an amnesty law was passed and there is data that shows that the economy benefitted from such a law. Let’s take the case of Venezuela. In 2004, Venezuela passed an amnesty law to naturalize it’s undocumented population and in couple of years over 95 percent of them were registered to vote.
If the Republicans want to strengthen the economy and have greater voter participation among the Latinos then one can argue that Amnesty is the way to go. I’m not saying that Latinos will vote for them just because of this but I think it is the most humane way of tackling a human rights issue. Those individuals who have violent backgrounds should be dealt accordingly but for the majority of individuals whose only “crime” is being born outside of the United States, they should not be treated any less than a fellow human being. Their human rights should be respected and granted; the right to food, education, housing, employment, health care, etc.
To get a true “immigration comprehensive reform,” the people must take to the streets with the same energy they came out to protest HR4437, the “Sensenbrenner bill.” It was the HR4437 bill in 2006 that galvanized people from all walks of life and demonstrated the power of a grassroots movement. People who have never protested or march on the streets were walking side by side for the first time. The media celebrities who had tried to stay away from politics were suddenly urging their listeners to march on the streets and wear White T-Shirts. In Los Angeles alone over 1 million people came out in 2006 to protest the HR4437 bill.
This is the time where people who say that their organizations work to defend the issues of immigrants or those who tried to be spokesman/womyn on behalf on immigrants must put their ego aside and start organizing people to take the streets and let their voices be heard. Chants of “Si Se Puede,” won’t be enough if people are inside their homes waiting for change to happen. If a coalition of community organizers, non profit organizations, small businesses, students, media celebrities, artists, athletes, immigrant communities, unions, churches, mosques, synagogues and the general public comes out and takes to the street protesting the S.744 bill and asking for a humane way of dealing with our broken immigration system, I feel it will be the first social movement that the United States has experience in quite some time.
If the immigration issue was happening in South America, the people would not be waiting for politicians to pass the bill. They would be calling for General Strikes and paralyzing cities to make sure that their voices are heard.
Now, imagine if there was a call for a General Strike nationwide of at least one week where people took to the streets and march peacefully to make it clear that they are against the latest immigration bill and are calling for a full legalization of its undocumented brothers and sisters. If this were to happen, I can almost be certain that the spirit on the streets would be so beautiful that people will sympathize with the immigration struggle. When one is struggling for justice it is hard not to include the spiritual component. A just cause is a spiritual manifestation of the greater good in humanity. How can one be against that?
I am hoping that people will bring the spirit that saw the defeat of HR4437 to this current bill. There is no better time than now to start mobilizing people and making our voices heard.
The People United, Will Never Be Defeated! El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido!
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