portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

immigration

Putting it in Writing: Immigrants Rights Coalition Sends Strong Message to Congress

At Sunday's Labor Day protest for immigrants rights, participants signed a long banner that will be mailed to the US Congress Conference Committee along with a position statement on the current state of legislative proceedings.

Excerpt: "We write to strongly encourage you to reject restrictionist and narrow, enforcement-only and enforcement-first proposals, including both H.R. 4437 and S. 2611... the rush to reach a bipartisan accord on immigration legislation has led to a compromise that would create deep divisions within the immigrant community, leave millions of undocumented immigrants in the shadows of our country, and further erode the rights of working people in the US - both immigrant and non-immigrant alike."

Below are pictures of people signing the banner, and the letter text. En espanol abajo.

Letter to the Conference Committee of the US Congress from the Portland Immigrants' Rights Coalition

August 3, 2006

Dear members of the Conference Committee

Knowing that the House and Senate are poised to reconsider immigration reform proposals soon, we write to strongly encourage you to reject restrictionist and narrow, enforcement-only and enforcement-first proposals, including both H.R. 4437 and S. 2611, in favor of immigration policies that are fair and just and that respect the rights and dignity of all immigrants and other members of society.

The rush to reach a bipartisan accord on immigration legislation has led to a compromise that would create deep divisions within the immigrant community, leave millions of undocumented immigrants in the shadows of our country, and further erode the rights of working people in the US - both immigrant and non-immigrant alike. Moreover, it would cost taxpayers billions of dollars on walls and enforcement measures that are not only ineffective, but jeopardize basic human and civil rights. There are even initiatives to deny citizenship to children born in the US, and to prohibit merchants from selling to undocumented immigrants.

We urge Congress to find workable immigration policies. This means no criminalization of immigrants or their service providers, no indefinite detention, no further militarization of the border, no expansion of guest worker programs, and an end to employer sanctions and electronic worker verification systems. What we really need are policies that include genuine legalization and opportunities to adjust status for all undocumented immigrants, preservation of due process, and the strengthening and enforcement of labor law protections for all workers, regardless of immigration status.

Finally, to address what is a truly global phenomenon of migration, we need to look beyond U.S. domestic policy. We must reject free trade agreements which undermine workers' rights and deepen poverty in sending countries and instead support U.S. foreign economic policies that contribute to strong economies, better worker protections and more democratic societies in developing nations.

We appeal to you to exert leadership in this debate as it comes before the Conference Committee and advocate for fair and just immigration reforms.

Thank you for your consideration of my views.


Coalicion de los Derechos de los Inmigrantes de Portland

3 de Septiembre del 2006

Estimados Miembros del Comite de Conferencia:

Sabiendo que la Casa y el Senado estan a punto de volver a considerar las propuestas de la reforma de inmigracion, La Coalicion de Inmigrantes de Portland escribimos la presente carta para rechazar las propuestas restrictivas e inadecuadas que solo se enfocan unicamente en la implementacion de elementos punitivos, incluidos en el H. 4437 y S. 2611. Y al contrario, planteamos que se busquen politicas de inmigracion justas, respetando los derechos y la dignidad de todos inmigrantes y otros miembros de la sociedad.

La prisa para alcanzar un acuerdo bipartidista en la legislacion de inmigracion ha llevado a la creacion de divisiones profundas dentro del conjunto de la sociedad estadounidense. Dejara millones de inmigrantes indocumentados en las sombras de nuestro pais, y se erosionarian aun mas los derechos de los trabajadores inmigrantes y no inmigrantes en los EEUU. Ademas, les costaria a los contribuyentes billones de dolares en la construccion de muros, carceles y la aplicacion de leyes ineficaces que ponen en peligro los derechos humanos y civiles mas elementales tales como negar la ciudadania a ninos nacidos en los EEUU, y prohibir a comerciantes vender productos a inmigrantes indocumentados.

Urgimos al congreso a encontrar politicas de inmigracion viables. Esto significa no a la criminalizacion de inmigrantes y proveedores de servicios, no a las detenciones indefinidas, no mas militarizacion de las fronteras, no a la expansion de programas de trabajadores huespedes, y poner fin a las sanciones a los empleadores y a los sistemas electronicos de verificacion de trabajadores. Lo que realmente necesitamos es una legalizacion genuina y la oportunidad para arreglar el estatus de residencia permanente de todos los inmigrantes indocumentados con camino a la ciudadania, la preservacion del proceso legal debido en casos de detenciones, y el fortalecimiento y enforzamiento de leyes de proteccion laborales para todos los trabajadores, independientemente de su estatus migratorio.

Finalmente, para enfrentar este fenomeno global de la migracion, necesitamos mirar mas alla de la politica domestica de los EEUU. Debemos rechazar acuerdos de libre comercio que socavan los derechos de los trabajadores y profundizan la pobreza en los paises de origen de los inmigrantes. Proponemos que EEUU aplique una politica economica exterior que realmente fortalezca y contribuya a las economias y democracia de los paises en vias de desarrollo.

Pedimos al Comite de Conferencia que ejerzan un liderazgo verdadero y que busquen durante su debate una reforma de inmigracion justa.

Gracias por su consideracion de nuestros puntos de vista.