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The Struggle for Immigration Reform Continues

by Carlos Montes |
September 1, 2007
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With Republicans leading the way, in June 2007 the U.S. Senate voted not to proceed with immigration reform. Some say it will take years to resolve. But we say no! We are angry that a just and complete immigration reform was not gained for the millions of families.

We can not wait for politicians to address our needs. We need to continue protesting and organizing. The ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) attacks continue with more raids, more enforcement and heightened vigilance at work sites. Next month companies will have 90 days to correct any discrepancy in documents of their workers, as part of a crackdown announced by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.

The companies that do not correct any kind of errors in documentation and fail to fire undocumented workers will be subject to major fines and possible criminal charges. This is a harsh, direct attack against immigrant workers that will cause unemployment and destruction of the wellbeing and lives of Latino families. We must resist this attack. Congress also approved an amendment to the Homeland Security Act for more money to militarize the southern border with Mexico, hiring more border patrol agents, electronic surveillance and constructing more ICE detention centers.

We need to organize protests against the ICE raids and deportations. The ICE detention centers are full. Our people suffer horrible conditions and abuse. We must protest and demand better conditions and their release. We must support the growing religious immigrant sanctuary movement and support the students who struggle for better education and jobs.

Our tactics need to be more militant - similar to the historic struggles of our Chicano and African American people. For example we should use civil disobedience, like in L.A. on Aug. 15, against the institutions and organizations who attack us and those who are against immigration reform, like the Republican Party. We should also support the economic boycott called by pro-immigrant rights groups in Arizona for Sept. 3-9. Arizona has proposed more racist state laws.

We need to focus pressure against the congress with delegation visits from the community. We can organize mass marches like May 1 and Aug. 18 in L.A. We must develop a long range plan that includes the call for national unity of community groups and activists with a base, unity with groups in Mexico and Central America, a national conference in early 2008, building towards a great labor and economic boycott for May 1 2008. We can build the movement for immigrant rights, by applying pressure on the presidential candidates in the upcoming elections and by participating in the movement against the Iraq war.
Nothing worthwhile comes with out a struggle. There are powerful forces that are working to exploit and oppress the undocumented and to hold down all Latino people. Now is the time to strengthen our movement, to beat back the attacks on the undocumented and to promote full equality and legalization. We can and will win.