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IMMIGRATION DEBATES UP IN THE US SENATE, NEW SANCTUARY MOVEMENT LAUNCHED IN THE U.S.

by AJLPP Monday, May. 14, 2007 at 10:22 AM
cdir_usa@yahoo.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

The US Senate, after a long delay will finally begin debates this coming Wednesday, May 16, on the much-awaited comprehensive immigration reform bill that will decide the fate of more than 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The issue: Amnesty or a guest worker program? Senator Arlan Specter wanted the Senate Bill 2611 to be revived while the White House proposes a very expensive “ temporary guest worker program” The democratic party promised a comprehensive immigration reform that will be favorable to the large immigrant community where it derived its support during the last elections. On the other hand, the traditionally anti-immigrant republican party is trying to win over the conservative sector of the immigrant population by giving a limited reform. President Bush, whose wife is a Mexican, promised an immigration reform bill by the end of this year. Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain are also bent to revive their own immigration bill that died last year during the Senate debates that gave way to SB 2611 that the Republican controlled lower house killed in 2006. The senate killed the oppressive HR 4437 but gave way to some of its anti-immigrant features in the SB 2611 that did not pass the republican controlled lower house. CDIR Immigrant Rights Update

IMMIGRATION DEBATES UP IN THE US SENATE, NEW SANCTUARY MOVEMENT LAUNCHED IN THE U.S.

Los Angeles – The US Senate, after a long delay will finally begin debates this coming Wednesday, May 16, on the much-awaited comprehensive immigration reform bill that will decide the fate of more than 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

The issue: Amnesty or a guest worker program?

Senator Arlan Specter wanted the Senate Bill 2611 to be revived while the White House proposes a very expensive “ temporary guest worker program” The democratic party promised a comprehensive immigration reform that will be favorable to the large immigrant community where it derived its support during the last elections.

On the other hand, the traditionally anti-immigrant republican party is trying to win over the conservative sector of the immigrant population by giving a limited reform. President Bush, whose wife is a Mexican, promised an immigration reform bill by the end of this year.

Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain are also bent to revive their own immigration bill that died last year during the Senate debates that gave way to SB 2611 that the Republican controlled lower house killed in 2006. The senate killed the oppressive HR 4437 but gave way to some of its anti-immigrant features in the SB 2611 that did not pass the republican controlled lower house.

Division in the Immigrant Rights Movement

The debates comes on the heels of the great division among the immigrant rights advocates and different immigrant groups in the nation. The complex situation is more pronounced in Los Angeles where at least four divergent groups debate among themselves on the issue on what immigration bill to support.

More than 100,000 immigrants and advocates marched in Los Angeles in separate rallies May 1. In the morning, at least 20,000 people march from Broadway/Olympic led by the March 25 Coalition being led by the International

Action Center (IAC) and held rally in front of the City Hall south lawn.

Another 60,000 marchers led by Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahoney and the Multi ethnic immigrants workers organizing network (MIWON) from Vermont Ave and 3rd St marched and converged at Macarthur Park from Vermont and 3rd while Raza Coalition marched from Washington to Broadway and to Macarthur Park . The group is allied to the We Are American Movement that support legalization through the Guest Workers Program. The police attacked this group early evening and brutally suppressed the rally.

Another coalition is the April7 Full Rights for All Immigrant Coalition led by Hermanidad Mexican Nacional and the Latino Movement-USA supported by the anti-war coalition International ANSWER-LA. They led the April 7 Los Angeles march rally that mobilized 75,000 people.

Immigrant Rights Movement on the Rise

Despite threats from racist anti-immigrant raids, anti-immigrant innuendoes and discouragement from the bourgeois media, school clamp downs on students and visible police presence and harassments, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their advocated marched and rallies din at least 74 cities of the United States on May Day- the International Workers Day.

In Chicago, more than 300,000 marched all over the Midwest City and converged at Grant Park to demand full rights for immigrants. Chicago where the original May Day celebration – the international workers day march started in May 1, 1886 was the vanguard of this years march-rally with 300,000 huge turn-out.

At least 10,000 also marched in San Francisco and New York City , 6,000 in Seattle and more than 74 other key cities and towns of the United States like Denver Colorado, Phoenix, Arizona,, Dallas, Texas, Florida, Washington DC and the California cities of Pomona, Santa Ana, San Diego, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Oakland, Riverside and other.

Despite the deportations of more than 480,000 “illegal immigrants” last year by the Department of Homeland Security, the immigrant rights movement showed unity and strength in their march and rallies this year.

Although it was slightly lower numbers this year, the May day rallies significance gave a clear signal to the US Congress to fix the broken immigration system that is anti-immigrant and not humane.

The May Day rallies clearly showed the US Congress and the reactionary sectors that the immigrant rights movement is alive and have a lot of kick in it.

New Sanctuary Movement in the U.S.

A new development gave a strong support to the immigrant rights movement and gave a strong signal in response to the racist anti-immigrant backlash led by the Minutemen movement. The Catholic Church, different protestants denominations, Jewish and Muslims groups banded together to give much needed support to the immigrant rights movement.

Last May 9 , different churches and religious persuasions launched a sanctuary movement that will help immigrants who are up for deportations and being persecution by US immigration authorities. Two distinct ceremonies in Los Angeles in the West Coast and New York in the East Coast were launched and pledged support for immigrants.

The movement raced its roots to the sanctuary movement that was launched at the height of the US anti-insurgency wars in Latin-America from the 1970’s to the 1980’s.

At that time churches in the U.S offered sanctuary to the political refugees and war from the countries of Guatemala, Honduras. El Salvador. Nicaragua, Chile and Argentina.

The INS and the ICE has reported to have prevented more than one million Mexicans from crossing the border from Mexico and have deported back at least 500,000 “illegal immigrants” in their much publicized “OPLAN RETURN TO SENDER” since last year up to the middle of this year.

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Laura Lane Welch Bush is Mexican? Diogenes of Sinope Tuesday, May. 15, 2007 at 11:53 AM

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