As senators Charles Schumer and Lindsay Graham announce their 4 pillar blueprint plan for future immigration legislation today, hundreds of immigrant workers, community members, and local politicians will convene at the Fordham Lutheran Evangelical Church to voice a different message absent from the current immigration debate.
Informed immigrant communities are saying “Enough!” and adding to the message that enforcement policies such as 287(g) and the militarization of the US/Mexican border kills people, separates families, and creates a xenophobic sentiment against migrants. Issues around enforcement policies and the militarization of the US/Mexico border have been ignored and pushed by politician and policy makers to be a tradeoff for legalization of undocumented migrants.
287 (g) agreements have been wrecking havoc amongst immigrant communities throughout the United States. Under the 287(g) program local police officers work with Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE) to detain, arrest, and deport immigrants. Immigrants caught in these raids/stops are often the main economic support for their families in the US and abroad. Under the Obama administration this program has been praised and expanded. This has set precedence for many police departments to begin working with ICE, such as the recent arrests and immigration hold of 12 day laborers in Elizabeth, NJ on March 16, 2010.
Border militarization has been assumed to be necessary for the passing of any national legalization program. Over 5,000 bodies have been found from 1994 until present. It is estimated that for every body found, there are 10 bodies not found at the border. Isabel Garcia, Executive Director of the Coalition of Human Rights in Tucson, AZ states, “We have already found 80 bodies in the Tucson, AZ area this year, an increase of 60% from last year.” Further militarization of the border under the misconception of “safe borders” is killing thousands of migrants each year.
“Immigrant communities are saying that we cannot agree to some legalization of migrants while at the same time accepting the expansion of programs such as 287(g) and the militarization of the border,” states director of Vamos Unidos, Rafael Samanez. “Millions of migrants that would not qualify for legalization would be left to confront an increased presence of ICE and police in our communities and increased death at the border,” adds Monami Maulik, director of DRUM. We demand a just legalization for all migrants and a stop to the militarization of the border and our communities.
Contact: Rafael Samanez (Vamos Unidos): 646-330-1951 or Jennifer Arieta (Vamos Unidos): 631-332-7887
Invited Guests: City Council Member Melissa M. Viverito, local political allies, and religious & Community leaders
Date and Time: Saturday: March 20, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.
Location: Fordham Lutheran Evangelical Church, 2430 Walton Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468
The organisation’s website could be viewed here.