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                                       politics + culture

Sunday, May 06, 2007

the Piolín Petition: for Fair and Just Immigration Reform

Rosa, Brenda and Claudia are three young moms.

They work as barristas at a coffee shop I go to everyday. These are friendly, hard-working and engaging young women and I enjoy chatting with them in English, or, at times, my fractured Spanish, about all sorts of "standing in line at the coffee shop" topics: their children, my nieces and nephews, the weather, holidays, soccer teams etc. etc. Even on my days with the earliest call times...when I line up at the cafe at 6AM these women will already have commuted in, been there and got the coffee brewing.

Their "call time" is almost always earlier than mine. That's not unusual.

You see, Rosa, Brenda and Claudia are all immigrants to the United States. Just three of the millions of hardworking immigrants from all over the world raising families and contributing to the American way of life.

They've asked me to share a message with my readers online. They've asked me to provide you with a chance to act...

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At the bottom of this post you will find the text of a petition started by a popular Los Angeles DJ Piolín. Rosa, Brenda and Claudia know that I'm a blogger and have asked me to pass that petition on to you.


This petition is calling for Fair and Just Immigration Reform and is coming directly out of the Latino community in California. You may have read about the police action against the Immigration Protest in Los Angeles last Tuesday. If you haven't, I highly recommend reading the comments in that thread and watching that video clip. The bigotry in that thread and the actions of the police in L.A. (using batons and rubber bullets against families and press!) should bring back memories of previous civil rights struggles.


There's a great deal of debate about Immigration Reform on the right, but not as much here on the left. Websites like this MySpace page can give a flavor of a widespread, grassroots movement coming directly out of our Youth Culture, and, MigraMatters is always a great place to stop for information on progressive immigration reform. Our opposition on this topic is not simply anti-immigrant, but pretty frankly anti-Latino as well. The right-wing thrives on creating an artificial divide between people's false notions of "citizen" and "non-citizen" and "white" and "non-white" Americans. There are 42.7 million Hispanic citizens of the United States; for too long the fear mongers and bigots have allowed a gap in perception to open up about that fact. The use of the term "illegals" to refer generically to Hispanics is a part of that trend.

We have a chance to fight that divide. And on Cinco de Mayo weekend...just like on Columbus day, Bastille Day or St. Patrick's day ie. celebrations of America's vibrant ethnic heritage...now is an appropriate time to act.

The petition below is common sense. If you agree with it, I urge you to cut and paste it (or download the pdf) and print it out and mail it to:

Fair and Just Immigration Reform
"Por la Reforma Migratoria con Piolín"
P. O. Box 9007, Glendale, CA 91226

I know this requires a bit of work. But this is how Piolín, the leader of this petition drive has organized it. He wants the physical letters. He is going to take them to Washington this June. I am inviting likeminded readers to help out, or even circulate the petition on your own, and if you do or want to share your thoughts please drop a comment below.

Text of the Petition:


Dear President George W. Bush & Honorable Members of Congress:

As a citizen/legal resident of the United States of America I would like to urge you to support the passage of a fair and just immigration reform bill this year.

We are living during a critical time when the decisions that our leaders make today will have significant ramifications for the direction that our great nation heads in the future. Fair and just immigration reform is needed to address the current and future challenges our country faces and will continue to face in its future. We must renew and embrace the fundamental rights upon which this great nation was built: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

As you ponder the fate of millions, I stress the need for you to include the following points in any immigration legislation that is considered for enactment into law:

-Allow families and individuals already leading a productive life in the United States of America the opportunity to achieve legal status by qualifying to apply for a permanent residency and citizenship within a structured, well monitored and humanitarian application system.
-Provide for expedited processing of immigration cases that involve parents of small children, in order that these children can grow up with both of their parents.
-Implement a migrant worker program that will protect migrant workers and their families from exploitation, as well as provide the necessary workforce that is vital to our country's economy.

As a citizen/legal resident of the United States of America, I appreciate your attention to these concepts that I hold dear.

Sincerely,
Name:
Address:
Signature:

And again the address to mail it to is:

Fair and Just Immigration Reform
"Por la Reforma Migratoria con Piolín"
P. O. Box 9007, Glendale, CA 91226

Rosa, Brenda, Claudia and I thank you in advance!!

6 Comments:

  • I agree with the Firm and Just Immigration Reform, so that there would be no seperation of the family, I thank you

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:53 AM  

  • xaYo apoyo la reforma migratoria para que no hayga separacion de familias.

    By Anonymous balada43@yahoo.com, at 8:58 AM  

  • I agree with the Firm and Just Immigration Reform, so that there would be no seperation of the family, I thank you

    By Anonymous jslnlinares@yahoo.com, at 8:59 AM  

  • I have read the Firm and Just Immigration Reform and I think it is a good idea, this way families would stay together

    By Anonymous papiyankee1@yahoo.com, at 9:04 AM  

  • I already printed it out: I will copy it and give the copies to friends and family. Please visit www.families-now.org and read about our group, US Citizens for United Families. We need to unite!

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 4:38 PM  

  • Elizabeth thanks for the comment...and for sending in the petition!

    Here's a hotlink to Elizabeth's site:

    Families-Now.org.

    By Blogger kid oakland, at 5:20 PM  

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