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Viernes, 09-01-2006: Immigrant-Rights-Agenda Report

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  • Peter S. Lopez de Aztlan
    Viernes, 09-01-2006: Immigrant-Rights-Agenda Report zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzapata Blogsource:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2006
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      Viernes, 09-01-2006: Immigrant-Rights-Agenda Report
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      Blogsource:
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      List of Links to Articles ~~~
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      September 1, 2006
      Why this immigrant rights march is brought to you by Miller
      By Oscar Avila + Tribune staff reporter
      Email: oavila@...
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      Originally published September 1, 2006
      Immigration: A local take on the national movement
      The Ithaca Journal - Ithaca, NY
      Cecilia Montaner-Vargas & Julie Ann Newman / Guest Columnists
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      August 31, 2006
      Racism, Divided Families and Deportation: The Case of Elvira Arellano
      By LEE SUSTAR
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      Thousands to Join Labor Day Rallies
      Events include marches in downtown L.A. and Wilmington. Workers will press for immigrant rights and better wages.
      By Teresa Watanabe, Times Staff Writer
      August 31, 2006
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      People's Weekly World Newspaper, 08/31/06 16:14
      A reality-based strategy for immigrant rights        
      Author: Emile Schepers
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      People's Weekly World Newspaper, 08/31/06 13:28
      Chicago mother fights deportation        
      Author: Pepe Lozano
       
      Related Link:
      Latino Families United Committee
       
      Contact Information
      Elvira Arellano - President        
       
      Main Office (Pilsen)                
      2300 S. Blue Island Ave.
      Chicago, IL. 60608
      Telephone (773) 523-8261  Fax (773) 523-8109
      E-Mail: PSF@...
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      People's Weekly World Newspaper, 08/31/06 13:41
      Day laborers find hope in San Francisco program        
      Author: Marilyn Bechtel
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      Protest for gay couples’ immigration rights
      It is hoped that the protest will send a clear message to the US Congress and the White House regarding immigration rights
      29-August-2006
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      August 30, 2006
      Socialist Workers Party candidates: Legalize all immigrants now!
      ‘We’re workers, not criminals!’ (lead article/statement by SWP candidates)
       
      Related articles:
      Contingents from 17 states expected at Sept. 7 D.C. rally
       
      Anti-immigrant ordinance defeated in Palm Bay, Florida
       
      In tour of Boston, leader of struggle for immigrant rights campaigns for legalization
       
      Chicago: Arellano wins support against deportation wins support
       
      La migra arrests 326 immigrants in Houston raids 
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      Excerpt: Tuesday, August 29 2006 @ 10:48 PM PDT
      A Look at the First Annual Sacco And Vanzetti Memorial Parade     
      Monday, August 28 2006 @ 08:40 PM PDT
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      August 28, 2006
      Talking to Nativo Lopez: ‘The Immigrants' Rights Movement is in Good Hands" By RON JACOBS
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      August 28, 2006
      Church closes off its doors to activist's debate
      Pastor denies entry for Sunday service    
      By Andrew L. Wang ~ Tribune staff reporter
      Email: alwang@...
       
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      From the August 28, 2006 edition –
      For mother and son, an immigration predicament
      By Amanda Paulson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
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      August 28, 2006
      Church closes off its doors to activist's debate
      Pastor denies entry for Sunday service    
      By Andrew L. Wang ~ Tribune staff reporter
      Email: alwang@...
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      Updated: 8/26/2006 10:09 PM
      Latinos seek political clout
      Immigration law dominates forum held in Littleton And at a Denver seminar, a national movement shares ways to mobilize volunteers and pursue election issues.
      By Jennifer Brown / Denver Post Staff Writer
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      September 1, 2006
      Why this immigrant rights march is brought to you by Miller
      By Oscar Avila + Tribune staff reporter
      Email: oavila@...
       
      Marchers had to duck into fast-food restaurants for water when they first took to Chicago's streets in support of illegal immigrants five months ago. At the next two marches, family-owned grocery stores offered free bottled water from trucks emblazoned with their names.
       
      This time, as demonstrators march from Chinatown to House Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-Ill.) Batavia office this weekend, they will have Miller Brewing Co., as a sponsor. The brewer has paid more than $30,000 for a planning convention, materials and newspaper ads publicizing the event.
       
      The support of a major corporation for a controversial political cause shows how fierce the competition has become to woo the growing market of Latino consumers.
       
      For Miller, the march offered a special chance to catch up. This spring the brewer drew the ire of pro-immigrant forces over contributions to U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who sponsored legislation that would crack down on illegal immigrants. That prompted a short-lived boycott by some Latino groups.
       
      Now, march advertisements feature not just the organizing committee's trademark blue globe but Miller's logo and a Spanish translation of its "Live Responsibly" slogan, a company effort to build goodwill among Latinos.
       
      But this march is no Cinco de Mayo parade. The politically charged event will promote a controversial plan to end deportations and offer legal status for all 11 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants. That creates potential pitfalls for any businesses lending support, experts say.
       
      At the same time business sponsorships have forced activists to confront whispers that they are commercializing their movement when they accept much-needed donations.
       
      "We would love to have 20 corporate logos. It doesn't mean we are selling the movement out," said Jorge Mujica, a member of the March 10 Committee. "The principles and demands remain the same. They are helping out this movement and we are happy with that."
       
      Labor unions remain the movement's backbone with four major unions bringing at least 600 marchers on buses from throughout Chicago. Religious groups have been key too. Some marchers will bed down in churches and a mosque.
       
      But businesses have become vital to this weekend's Immigrant Workers Justice Walk, which will cover 45 miles to Hastert's district office. Hundreds of marchers plan to cover the entire span from Friday through Monday, and organizers need food and water for them.
       
      Sometimes political and commercial messages are mingled.
       
      At a July march, Chicago-based food producer V&V Supremo printed signs with its logo that urged "Moratorium Now, Legalization Yes."
       
      Jimenez Market, an area chain, had its sign on display as workers passed out more than 5,000 bottles of water and other supplies worth nearly $17,000. Co-owner Jose Perez acknowledged it is good publicity but stressed that "we are supporting our people. Without them, our business would go downhill."
       
      This weekend, the Los Comales restaurant plans to donate 500 tortas, Mexican sandwiches filled with steak, ham and other toppings. The Laredo Bakery is donating bread while other restaurants are donating water, fruit and other supplies, organizers said.
       
      Those businesses are natural allies--"part of the same brotherhood," as one marketer put it.
       
      But the presence of Miller at a welcoming reception the day before the Aug. 12-13 planning convention raised eyebrows.
       
      The convention brought together labor unions, anti-war groups, immigrant service organizations and even socialist political candidates.
       
      Hours before bashing NAFTA and U.S. foreign policy, participants at the Aug. 11 reception mingled with the Miller Girls, the company's public relations ambassadors, amid a display of Miller logos.
       
      That Miller was involved in the first place is one measure of the growing power of immigrants. After the boycott announcement, the company approached march organizers to try to find common ground, and agreed to back the march organizers' efforts.
       
      Miller is also bankrolling informational ads in Voces Migrantes, or Migrant Voices, a community newspaper in Chicago, and has promised scholarships for area Latinos.
       
      Mathew Romero, the company's local market development manager, said Miller felt it was important to speak out against Sensenbrenner's legislation, though his campaign was one of many the company supported.
       
      Romero noted that company founder Frederick Miller was a German immigrant and many current executives are foreign nationals. Miller is now part of London-based SABMiller.
       
      Romero said he wasn't worried that some opponents of illegal immigration would be upset at the company's support of "the free movement of people, labor, goods and services."
       
      "As long as you are stacking facts against facts, they are free to make their own decisions. We will stand by our positions," he said.
       
      George San Jose, president of the San Jose Group, a Chicago-based marketing company specializing in the Hispanic market, said he understands why companies chase Hispanic purchasing power, which tops $700 billion annually in the U.S. Brewers, he said, have been especially aggressive.
       
      But San Jose would advise clients that there are better ways.
       
      "A company sponsoring one of the two sides of the immigration debate is no different than a company sponsoring groups for or against abortion [rights]. It's one of those heated political debates that companies should stay clear of," he said.
       
      At the request of march organizers, media executive Robert Armband sent e-mails to thousands of business contacts, asking if they would consider helping the March 10 Committee.
       
      "It certainly is an opportunity to reach the masses, but it might not be the right vehicle to come out as a sponsor," said Armband, publisher and chief executive of La Raza, a Chicago newspaper.
       
      March organizers say they have not made any full-fledged sales pitches to major corporations and are having internal discussions about whether they should make a real push. That can be a tough decision, according to march organizer Gabe Gonzalez.
       
      Gonzalez said he represents those in the movement--maybe half the total, he thinks -- who don't even consider themselves capitalists. Many have been involved with labor campaigns targeting specific companies.
       
      March organizers shot down a suggestion that they approach Coca-Cola, for example, because of what they perceive as the company's labor abuses in the developing world, a cause celebre among liberal activists.
       
      Although immigrant activists see legalization as an issue of social justice, Gonzalez said corporations might back the idea as a way to protect their bottom line. Whatever the motivations, Gonzalez said he would cooperate with almost any company willing to back the cause.
       
      "That's the nature of politics. You form coalitions based on mutual self-interest," Gonzalez said. "So will we work with corporations? We will work with anyone who will work with us."
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      Originally published September 1, 2006
      Immigration: A local take on the national movement
      The Ithaca Journal - Ithaca, NY
      Cecilia Montaner-Vargas & Julie Ann Newman / Guest Columnists
       
      As visible as our cultural diversity is here in Ithaca, the struggle of immigrants working and living in our community may not be so self-evident. Ithaca officially declared itself a Sanctuary City in the 1980s, where refugees and immigrants, both documented and undocumented, could come and live safely. This security for immigrants can no longer be guaranteed as this progressive declaration has long since expired.
       
      Currently, referral to federal immigration law enforcement and deportation are not uncommon here. Anyone who knows Bruce McDonald understands the impact these hurtful practices have on both immediate family and our community. Anyone who has felt fear walking in the streets, who has been targeted for the color of his or her skin, understands the power of discrimination that places fellow community members on opposite sides of the law. We must encourage our local officials to reject this unjust call from the national government to target those who contribute to our local economy and who help make our county the beautiful place it is.
       
      Some of our fellow citizens have stated, in letters to the editor, that immigrants don't pay taxes, exploit our health care, social service and educational systems, and depress wages. It is, however, not the undocumented immigrant that does these things; it is our system that allows two classes of workers to exist. One class is guaranteed equal rights, fair wages and equal treatment, while the other works for low wages in unsafe and unhealthy conditions and in fear of losing their jobs if they speak out against deplorable work conditions.
       
      According to a 1997 study by the Cato Institute, immigrant households paid an estimated $133 billion in taxes to federal, state and local governments. A National Academy of Sciences study found that immigrants have little negative effect on the income and job opportunities of most native-born Americans and may add as much as $10 billion to the economy each year. Most immigrants, documented or not, pay into Social Security and Medicare. Very few see benefit from the fruits of their labor due to their current legal status.
       
      Ithaca falls short when it comes to social service agencies willing to address the needs of immigrants. The Refugee Resettlement Committee no longer exists. Housing for the homeless doesn't extend to homeless undocumented immigrants. Some local law enforcement agencies target immigrant workers in the area. They take advantage of the fact that many immigrants don't know their legal rights thereby creating a culture of fear in the immigrant community.
       
      Out of the need for services and out of a collective outrage at national policy and legislation attacking immigrant workers and families in our country and community, local people, including members of the Workers Center, Catholic Charities, the Latino Civic Association, members of the Ithaca Asian American Association and representatives from other community service agencies, have come together to form the Immigrant Rights Coalition.
       
      The Coalition supports equal rights, living wages and equal opportunities for all workers, as well as the legalization of all immigrants as the only way to ensure that all people are treated like equal members of our society.
       
      The Coalition seeks to provide for the basic needs, protection, support, education and empowerment of local immigrants affected by pending national legislation, as well as to educate and involve our community in this movement. We advocate for the protection of the basic human rights that the rest of us have the privilege of taking for granted.
       
      We also believe that the only way migration of people from Mexico and other countries will stop is when conditions in their own countries, many which the U.S. has had a hand in creating, are improved. Until then, people will keep coming, no matter how big and how militarized the fences and walls are at the border.
       
      Contact the Immigrant Rights Coalition at TCWRC@... or 269-0409 to get on our list-serve. Come to one of our meetings or find out more about specific actions and events you can become involved in. If you were present at the May 1 rally on The Commons, you witnessed the beginning of this local movement. If you weren't present, you can become a part of it now!
       
      Join us for a National Day of Action this Labor Day! Meet at noon Monday, Sept. 4 at Boynton Middle to march to the annual Labor Day Picnic at Stewart Park. There will be food, speakers and celebration.
       
      Cecilia Montaner-Vargas came to Ithaca 25 years ago from Chile and is a founding member of the Immigrant Rights Coalition. Julie Ann Newman works for Tompkins Community Action as a Section 8 housing caseworker.
       
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      August 31, 2006
      Racism, Divided Families and Deportation: The Case of Elvira Arellano

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