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February 13, 2006

Fighting Xenophobia

The Immigrant Solidarity Network is organizing protests TOMORROW against upcoming repressive anti-immigration legislation.

Specifically, protests in Pennsylvania tomorrow will try to raise public awareness about H.R. 4437 Sensenbrenner-King, which passed the House of Representatives last December. According to the email I received, the bill will

"***make any relative, employer, student, coworker, co-congregant, or friend of an undocumented immigrant into an “alien smuggler” and a criminal. The legislations “smuggling” provisions go way beyond any common sense definition of a “smuggler,” and include average people going about their business. For example, it makes criminals out of the: soccer mom who drives her neighbors to the grocery store, the local ESL teacher, the neighbors who has a live-in nanny, landscapers who drive workers to jobs, etc.

***To make 11 million undocumented immigrants-and legal immigrants who have temporary status problems-into criminals that local police can arrest.

***To make it harder for legal permanent residents to become citizens

***To turn state and local police into immigrant agents.

***To require employers to verify workers’ legal status, without providing access to legal workers through immigration reform."

Sam used to recall the discrimination, verbal epithets, vandalism and threats of violence his family experienced as immigrants when he was a boy. Maybe that's one of the factors that played into his deep conviction that people are people and borders are a nuisance at best and a curse at worst. His interest in politics never flagged, although he was more prone to just go out and help people become friends rather than engage in direct collective action. He would support and encourage us to do it, though, wanna bet? (If anyone knows of his participation in public rallies like this I'd sure like to learn about them. Did he have a civic action phase?)

Posted by Steph at February 13, 2006 11:44 AM


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