Advocates say solidarity is key to achieve real immigration reform

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Panelists (from left) Ben de Guzman, Gabriela Villareal and Alex Aldana spoke on immigration reform.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY REED NELSON

by Reed Nelson

When Lourdes Perez got off work in the recent past, she didn't put her feet up. She said she couldn't worry about dinner or her son's extracurricular activities. All she could think about was her safety and the safety of her son.

Perez was trapped in an abusive relationship, and — like many other undocumented women in the Bay Area — felt that calling the police wasn't an option. Perez doesn't speak much English, making her an easy target for her abusive spouse and fearful of local authorities charged with protecting the abused. And that makes no sense.

But for an estimated 2.6 million undocumented Californians, things haven't made sense in quite some time. Fear of deportation has forced many, like Perez, to try and go unnoticed day in and day out. Now, with federal immigration reform moving forward and policy initiatives at the local level aimed toward improving safety for undocumented survivors of domestic violence, advocates have finally seen some progress – yet immigrant rights advocates seem to agree that the work as being far from finished.

Dozens of community members turned out for a Sept. 12 event, "What's Beyond DOMA in Immigration Reform? The Next Steps for Women & LGBTQ Communities,” hosted in San Francisco by Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights Through Education (ASPIRE) and API Equality Northern California.

The event marked the first time “we've had a round table or panel discussion that brings in so many different perspectives and community organizations," co-host Sammie Wills noted.

In 1996, then-President Clinton signed a sweeping legislation banning safety-net access for millions of immigrants and refugees, according to panelist Gabriela Villareal, policy manager for the California Immigrant Policy Center. "[The law] basically barred [immigrants and refugees] from safety-net support for the first five years of them being here," Villareal said.

But things have worsened since then. Much of the panel discussion focused on the draconian Secure Communities (S-Comm) — a shadowy partnership between the FBI and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that began in 2008, and has resulted in the deportations of 784 San Franciscans since 2010, according to data provided by the office of Sup. John Avalos.

A week before the forum, Avalos' proposed Due Process for All ordinance received veto-proof supermajority support (8-3) from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. An attempt to neutralize S-Comm at the local level, the legislation makes it illegal for law enforcement to detain undocumented citizens solely in response to immigration detainer requests issued by ICE under S-Comm.

Stacy Umezu, programs co-director at Community United Against Violence (CUAV), urged forum participants to contact state elected officials urging support for the TRUST Act, statewide legislation similar to Due Process for All which would bar police from detaining individuals solely in response to requests from federal immigration authorities.

In the meantime, activists are continuing to advocate for meaningful reform. Alex Aldana, part of the East Bay Immigrant Youth Coalition, for instance, found civil disobedience to be the most effective mode for change. "I'm undocumented and unafraid, queer and not ashamed," Aldana said during the discussion.

Amy Lin, from Aspire, perhaps summed up the mission of this eclectic group best when she discussed her personal experience as a doubly marginalized individual. As part of the LGBTQ community and the undocumented community, she said, she is stigmatized by even those already marginalized.

Solidarity was key, she said. And by sticking together, she and the rest of the panelists hope to steer immigration reform toward the inclusive and fair plateau they've been seeking all along.

Comments

California and to a lesser content other states as well, as most areas are inundated with the illegal immigration invasion If the free ways in California doesn’t have enough troubles with unlicensed drivers the demented Governor has decided to not veto drivers licenses for foreign nationals. Is this the way President Obama and his insidious disciples get his fraudulent votes. Is a drivers license for illegal aliens going to make the drunken driver The highways of the state are becoming logjams every day with Gov. Jerry Brown and his Democratic thrall in the Sacramento assembly must be stark staring crazy when pandering to illegal aliens and lying with a straight face to the Californian tax payers. Illegal aliens have already turned the schools into toilets, because regular American children cannot get a decent education. My son with autism was in a school with 85 percent of foreign nationals, so I removed him and took my family homestead in Indiana, where he gets the attention he desperately needs.

THIS COUNTRY IS TURNING INTO LIBERAL WILDERNESS.

Now this Socialist crumb in the White House, his demented Senate wants to import another 30 million foreigners, which will eventually be elevated to 50-60 million through CHAIN MIGRATION, which taxpayers will carry the financial burden. Yet the majorities of American sits back and wriggle their thumbs, doing nothing. Not speaking up, with consequences that will be unbearable in years to come.

We don’t have enough money in the state and federal coffers, to look after our own impoverished people and we certainly have little attention to the military personal that come back from foreign nations, damaged in many cases beyond repair. Then we have a president and ultra socialist fiends who have stuck us with Obamacare, which is beginning to stifle our health care system, the Medicare system and sending thousands of medical practitioners out of the industry. I am just as much to blame for voting for this political marionette of the Liberal-Democrats who have already placed us in a rising federal deficit of over 17 Trillion dollars and climbing, with a little help from the GOP. Because of both political parties we really have no immigration enforcement, beginning with the amnesty in 1986.

Both parties refuse to make illegal entry into our country a FELONY, they have intentional failed to give harsh penalties to businesses that hire foreign workers. Ask those morons in Washington, why place 20000 more Border Patrol officers on the border, when half should be deployed to business audits, as part of ICE. With only 5000 agents to check the records of companies in the U.S. which is where real enforcement come down on dishonest employers. They have stayed non-committal on bring to a halt the “Anchor Baby” syndrome, that lays upon American taxpayers hundreds of billions annually in welfare payment, health care and other entitlements through as I see it—illegal BIRTHRIGHT LAWS, stretching back to the Civil War emancipation of slaves, and NOT FOR THE CHILDREN/ BABIES of pregnant mothers who slip through borders or remain undetectable when arriving on a plane.

It’s a sad situation when we cannot trust the majority in either the GOP or the left who want the cheap votes or want the cheap labor. They disguise the millions of Americans just surviving, but still import agricultural workers, and others with hardly any visa caps.
Don’t let these demented politicians get away with these disgusting lies and rhetoric anymore. See what you can do. Join the grassroots organizations as the TEA PARTY; millions are and forever growing. People are sick and frustrated, with politicians lining their pockets with Special Interest money. Join Numbersusa.com, americanpatrol.com judicialwatch.org, TEA PARTY.ORG and many other groups that are for the ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, not for supporting another illegal immigration invasion as last time.

California is in a Depression—Real Unemployment Over 14%–Debt/Deficit of $132 Billion—Happy Talk From Brown and Democrats “all good”
By Stephen Frank on 09/11/2013, wrote in California News and Views.
Happy talk from Guv Brown claiming we have a balanced budget, based on cap and trade money, higher taxes, stealing from Trust Funds and refusing to pay back $132 billion in deficit and debt. Everybody seems happy with a majority of new hires in the State being part time low pay/no benefit. Just the other day Trader Joes announced they are withdrawing health care benefits for their part time workers—meaning those folks will be forced to pay for low quality/high cost government approved health care.want minimum wage modern slavery and its very successful and gaining ground at an alarming rate. They think they can
California cities are being forced to declare bankruptcy due to unsustainable pension costs. The State is taking tens of millions from cash strapped cities—to help “create” a balanced budget/ Happy Talk does not pay the bills. How are they selling it—via $3 million from the Feds and a two hour movie starring Hanoi Jane Fonda.
“A more positive story about California is being put together by two state universities and others, using a $3 million National Science Foundation grant.
The California Environmental Legacy Project’s most ambitious effort to date is “Becoming California,” a two-hour documentary narrated by actress Jane Fonda. It’s scheduled to air early next year on public television stations throughout the state.

Posted by Dave Francis on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

California and to a lesser content other states as well, as most areas are inundated with the illegal immigration invasion If the free ways in California doesn’t have enough troubles with unlicensed drivers the demented Governor has decided to not veto drivers licenses for foreign nationals. Is this the way President Obama and his insidious disciples get his fraudulent votes. Is a drivers license for illegal aliens going to make the drunken driver The highways of the state are becoming logjams every day with Gov. Jerry Brown and his Democratic thrall in the Sacramento assembly must be stark staring crazy when pandering to illegal aliens and lying with a straight face to the Californian tax payers. Illegal aliens have already turned the schools into toilets, because regular American children cannot get a decent education. My son with autism was in a school with 85 percent of foreign nationals, so I removed him and took my family homestead in Indiana, where he gets the attention he desperately needs.

THIS COUNTRY IS TURNING INTO LIBERAL WILDERNESS.

Now this Socialist crumb in the White House, his demented Senate wants to import another 30 million foreigners, which will eventually be elevated to 50-60 million through CHAIN MIGRATION, which taxpayers will carry the financial burden. Yet the majorities of American sits back and wriggle their thumbs, doing nothing. Not speaking up, with consequences that will be unbearable in years to come.

We don’t have enough money in the state and federal coffers, to look after our own impoverished people and we certainly have little attention to the military personal that come back from foreign nations, damaged in many cases beyond repair. Then we have a president and ultra socialist fiends who have stuck us with Obamacare, which is beginning to stifle our health care system, the Medicare system and sending thousands of medical practitioners out of the industry. I am just as much to blame for voting for this political marionette of the Liberal-Democrats who have already placed us in a rising federal deficit of over 17 Trillion dollars and climbing, with a little help from the GOP. Because of both political parties we really have no immigration enforcement, beginning with the amnesty in 1986.

Both parties refuse to make illegal entry into our country a FELONY, they have intentional failed to give harsh penalties to businesses that hire foreign workers. Ask those morons in Washington, why place 20000 more Border Patrol officers on the border, when half should be deployed to business audits, as part of ICE. With only 5000 agents to check the records of companies in the U.S. which is where real enforcement come down on dishonest employers. They have stayed non-committal on bring to a halt the “Anchor Baby” syndrome, that lays upon American taxpayers hundreds of billions annually in welfare payment, health care and other entitlements through as I see it—illegal BIRTHRIGHT LAWS, stretching back to the Civil War emancipation of slaves, and NOT FOR THE CHILDREN/ BABIES of pregnant mothers who slip through borders or remain undetectable when arriving on a plane.

It’s a sad situation when we cannot trust the majority in either the GOP or the left who want the cheap votes or want the cheap labor. They disguise the millions of Americans just surviving, but still import agricultural workers, and others with hardly any visa caps.
Don’t let these demented politicians get away with these disgusting lies and rhetoric anymore. See what you can do. Join the grassroots organizations as the TEA PARTY; millions are and forever growing. People are sick and frustrated, with politicians lining their pockets with Special Interest money. Join Numbersusa.com, americanpatrol.com judicialwatch.org, TEA PARTY.ORG and many other groups that are for the ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, not for supporting another illegal immigration invasion as last time.

California is in a Depression—Real Unemployment Over 14%–Debt/Deficit of $132 Billion—Happy Talk From Brown and Democrats “all good”
By Stephen Frank on 09/11/2013, wrote in California News and Views.
Happy talk from Guv Brown claiming we have a balanced budget, based on cap and trade money, higher taxes, stealing from Trust Funds and refusing to pay back $132 billion in deficit and debt. Everybody seems happy with a majority of new hires in the State being part time low pay/no benefit. Just the other day Trader Joes announced they are withdrawing health care benefits for their part time workers—meaning those folks will be forced to pay for low quality/high cost government approved health care.want minimum wage modern slavery and its very successful and gaining ground at an alarming rate. They think they can
California cities are being forced to declare bankruptcy due to unsustainable pension costs. The State is taking tens of millions from cash strapped cities—to help “create” a balanced budget/ Happy Talk does not pay the bills. How are they selling it—via $3 million from the Feds and a two hour movie starring Hanoi Jane Fonda.
“A more positive story about California is being put together by two state universities and others, using a $3 million National Science Foundation grant.
The California Environmental Legacy Project’s most ambitious effort to date is “Becoming California,” a two-hour documentary narrated by actress Jane Fonda. It’s scheduled to air early next year on public television stations throughout the state.

Posted by Dave Francis on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

You got to be to stupid to think the way you think.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

You got to be to stupid to think the way you think.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

And they often do not get tax refunds or social security benefits. So i am not convinced we make a loss on them, as long as they work, don't commit crimes and don't draw benefits.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

you want a slave labor force.

Posted by Greg on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

Does the idea that you might be paid what you are worth rather than what you think you need scare you? It shouldn't.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 8:40 am

without free movement of labor. What you want is almost free labor because of the undocumented status of the laborers.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 9:02 am

any particular job. If you do not like working for $10 an hour, then find another job, relocate to another town, or scale back your living standards.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 9:08 am

every day. They are called the poor. The most unfortunate live under bridges and eat from garbage cans.

There is no free market, especially the labor market.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 9:31 am

all these wealthy interlopers. So either they are lying about that or you are lying about seeing poor people in SF.

But since like you I see poor people all over SF, I think you are right, and that a large class of people in SF can live off very little money.

The point being made, however, was that we do not have slavery any more. And that if you do not like the quality of life that your skills and value bring you, then you are free to make various changes, including (most obviously) getting a different job or moving somewhere cheaper.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 9:52 am

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 10:10 am

you should be more careful than to post one of these immediately after posting in your own name.

Kinda gives the game away, ya know?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 10:22 am

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