PRESS RELEASE: Response to Senate Bill 744

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MEDIA ADVISORY

For Immediate Release: Friday, August 23, 2013

Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, ph: 425.344.8641 and 253.347.4229, em:  info@elcomitewa.org.

Immigrant Rights Activists Respond to Senate Bill 744

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 ignores the reality of contemporary migration and immigrant labor.

SEATTLE – The recent passage of Senate Bill 744 is the latest attempt to overhaul the United States’ immigration system since the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility” (IIRIRA) Act of 1996. This action in congress is a pro-active measure at addressing a concern that has been the central preoccupation of various families and communities directly impacted by the issue. In reaching bi-partisan support, congress has drafted and voted through, a measure that will allow for a drawn out 13 year path to citizenship for some, while simultaneously militarizing a southern border that is already heavily fortified.

On Sunday, August 4th 2013, we held a gathering to hear community concerns about the bill and craft our official response to SB 744. El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, reaffirms its stance that any legislation that is entertained through both the House of Representatives and the Senate, MUST secure the rights of immigrant workers, families, and communities. As a matter of principle, it is important to address the humanitarian needs of our communities first and foremost. All are deserving of a dignified existence, free of intimidation, workplace abuse, police harassment, violence, and forced family separation. It is with this in mind, that we vociferously oppose the enforcement heavy amendments and provisions codified within S 744.

From preliminary discussion, it appears likely that S 744 will be scrapped by the U.S. House of Representatives in favor of house-initiated legislation that promises to be even more divisive and restrictive. As social justice proponents, this is not what we had in mind when we took to the streets to demand drastic change to the immigration infrastructure. We saw draconian legislation over seven year ago, and see more of the same as the emphasis on “enforcement-first” points to the fact that conservative politicians, of both stripes, have a tenuous grasp of reality and are still utilizing an ineffective, outdated model that has proved useless in meeting our present day challenges.

The only major beneficiaries are the representatives of the Military Industrial Complex and the politicians working on their behalf. While immigrants are forced to pass through a 13 year labyrinth which will inevitably weed many out of the path to citizenship, the arms industry will line its pockets with lucrative contracts that pump more money into an already bloated border defense apparatus. As such, we join human rights proponents, social justice advocates, and our peers along the southern border, in opposing the legislation as is.

The first action that we will take in verbalizing this position will be with a demonstration at Westlake Park on Labor Day. Details to follow in the coming days. As a community, we believe that addressing the humanitarian crisis should take precedence. We’ve spent too much time watching the situation deteriorate. We need a just immigration reform, and we need it now!

EDUCATE, ORGANIZE, MOBILIZE.

For more information, contact the following: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, ph: 425.344.8641 and 253.347.4229, em:  info@elcomitewa.org

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PRESS RELEASE: May Day March 2013 in Seattle

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MEDIA ADVISORY

 

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 2, 2013

 

Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition,

ph: 206.650.2106, em:  info@elcomitewa.org, Twitter Tag: #M1SEA.

 

Thousands of Demonstrators take part in the 13th Annual May Day March & Rally for Workers and Immigrant Rights.

March focus was to voice community concerns regarding the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill proposed by the “gang of eight.”

 

SEATTLE – Thousands demonstrators took to the streets of Seattle to participate in the 13th Annual May Day March & Rally for Workers and Immigrant Right. The events began at Judkins Park at 1:00 p.m., with a Rally that hosted speakers from the local faith-based organizations in the Seattle area. Speakers represented several denominations and faith communities, which then filed westbound, on Lane Street to start the March at 3:00 pm.

 

March participant, Alma Gutierrez noted, “we’re here for our families. It is a shame that our communities are divided by raids and repression with absolute impunity.” Others echoed similar concerns as yearly deportations have now exceeded more than 390,000 in recent years. Organizers noted that it is insulting that the most recent Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill is still nebulous on several details, save for the enforcement mechanisms.

 

According to Juan Jose Bocanegra, “It’s like the ‘good, the bad, and the ugly.’ We want to keep the good, we want to change the bad, and we want to get rid of the ugly.”

 

The procession was led by the Ce Atl Tonalli Aztec Dance Group that helped pace the march from 20th and Jackson Streets, to the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in downtown Seattle. The march ended with a program that included speakers from different segments of the community. They spoke on how current immigration law impacts youth, families, LGBTQ, women, workers, and others.

Carlos Padilla, an organizer with  the  Washington  DREAM Act  Coalition  mentioned, “I had to come out of the closet as undocumented…later, I came out of the closet   as gay. I am an undocuqueer youth. All our movements all our concerns are  one. We are a community that seeks justice for all.”

 

Bocanegra reflected on the day’s activities, “Our message has been clear throughout the day. I keep getting asked if there was anxiety  before the march. All we can do is prepare for what we need to do to ensure the march serves to demonstrate our unified message. Fact of the matter is that unfortunately, last years events are the central focus for many news agencies. Somehow, 15 minutes of property destruction at a separate event are deemed  more important than the human crisis we’ve seen over the last 26 years with families being separated, workers being exploited, and people being held in the most inhumane  conditions at private, unregulated Detention Centers.”

 
In spite of adverse media reporting the march went off without a hitch. Demonstrators came from Auburn, Tacoma, Bellingham, and some as far as Yakima. The march also benefited from a strong youth presence with one contingent organized by local high school students, and another arriving from the local colleges and universities. As legislation is debated locally as well as nationally, participants made it clear that there is a need to continue the pressure for humane reform, and the right of all members of the community to live and work without fear. 

 

For more information, contact the following: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition, ph: 206.650.2106, em:  info@elcomitewa.org, Twitter Tag: #M1SEA.

May Day March Co-sponsoring Organizations

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May Day March Co-sponsoring Organizations

El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition would like to thank and acknowledge all the organizations that have contributed financial and organizational resources to help organize the 2013 May Day March for Immigrant and Workers Rights. This march would not be as impactful if not for the help of our allies in the greater Seattle Social Justice Community.

 

NROC/LIUNA
Aerospace Machinists Lodge 751
AFT Local 1789
Allyship
American Friends Service Committee
Anakbayan Seattle
APALA
Bayan USA Pacific Northwest
CAGJ
CARW
Casa Latina
Childrens Alliance
Eddie Rye
El Centro de la Raza
Got Green
ILWU Local 19
ILWU Puget Sound District Council
Indonesian Lutheran Fellowship
Laborers 242
LELO
Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council
MEChA – University of Washington
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
OneAmerica
OPEIU Local 8
Pride Foundation
PSE/SEIU Local 1948
PUSO
Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council
Seattle CISPES
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
SEIU Healthcare 775NW
SEIU Local 49
SEIU Local 6
SEIU Local 925
SEIU State Council
Social Justice Fund NW
Socialist Workers Party
St. Mary’s Church
Teamsters Local 117
UAW 4121
UFCW 21
UNITE HERE Local 8
Washington CAN
Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council
Washington State Labor Council
WFSE 304
WFSE Council 28

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!


contact: Leah Grupp-Williams, lgruppw@gmail.com,

May 1st March and Rally: In celebration of International Worker’s Day AND in support of a Just and Humane Immigration Reform
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013: 1PM
Rally at St Mary’s Church (611 20th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98114). March to the Federal Building (915 2nd Ave).
@May1stAC on Twitter
On Facebook: May 1st Action Coalition

Peacekeepers
We need 200 volunteers for this year’s march, which we are expecting to be huge. Peacekeepers are the eyes and ears of the march. You are part of this big day of action, walking with marchers, keeping people safe, and reporting any concerns to your team captain. Minimum age: 16.
Recruit your friends! You can form a peacekeeping team (6-12 people) by asking friends, family, or coworkers to join you. Team captains must attend a training on Saturday, April 27th, from 10am-12pm.

Day of: Arrive to Judkins Park by 1pm to sign in and be assigned to a team. You are done when we arrive at the Federal Building. We will need about 20 people to stay and help with stage security – please let me know if you are willing.

Ushers
We need about 50 volunteers who will be responsible for orienting people as they arrive at Judkins Park. This will involve greeting people and helping them find the rally. When the rally is over, you will help gather people and move them onto Lynn Street to begin the march.

Day of: Arrive to Judkins Park by 12:15pm to sign in and pick up a T-shirt. You are done when the march leaves the park.

Bucket Brigade
Bucket Brigade volunteers collect donations from participants during the march. This is a great job for youth wanting to volunteer.

Day of: Arrive to Judkins Park by 1pm to sign in and begin gathering donations in big paint buckets. The bucket brigade will then set up on Jackson Street for the march to pass through. You are done once the march has passed through the bucket brigade and we have loaded the buckets into the truck.

Bike Brigade
We need 2 more volunteers to join the bike brigade. Members will be provided with bicycles and will be an addition to our communications and peacekeeping teams. Your job will be to ride up and down the length of the march, communicating with your team captain and peacekeeping team captains. You may be asked to ride ahead or stay behind. The goal is to have another set of eyes and ears, and another means to move information. Minimum age: 16.

Day of: Arrive at Judkins Park by 1pm to sign-in and meet with the rest of the bike brigade. You are done when we reach the Federal Building.

Other Volunteer Opportunities
– Photographers/videographers: we need some folks to help document the march!

- Sign and banner making prior to the march: more details to come!

- Parade float: Help move the stagecoach float from Judkin’s Park to the Federal Building!

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MEDIA ADVISORY

 

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 3, 2013

 

Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition,
ph: 
206.650.2106 em:  info@elcomitewa.org Twitter Tag: #SeattleMay1st2013

 

Immigrant Rights Activists to hold a Rally for Humane Immigration Reform on April 10, 2013 at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building.

 

SEATTLE –  El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition will hold a rally to demand a just and humane Immigration Reform at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in Downtown Seattle on Wednesday, April 10th, 2013. . Event details:

 

What: Rally to Demand a Just and Humane Immigration Reform.

Who: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition, and other members of Seattle’s Social Justice community.

When: 3:00 -6:00 p.m., Wednesday April 10th, 2013.

Where: The Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in Downtown Seattle (915 2nd Ave)

 

Background

Over the last several weeks, Immigration Reform has once again become a central concern nationally and has led to talks in congress about finally addressing the issue. Noticeably absent in the proposals and talking points pushed forth in the Senate and House of Representatives, is a community-oriented discourse. As politicians debate the topic, the immigrant community continues bearing the brunt of institutional neglect locally and nationally with mass deportations, police harassment, violation of basic human rights, and perpetuation of xenophobia by opportunistic politicians. This rally hopes to continue to vocalize the concerns the local communities have with regard to this matter and to help build for the annual May Day March on May 1st in Seattle.

 

For more information, contact the following: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition,206.650.2106  info@elcomitewa.org, Twitter Tag: #SeattleMay1st2013

 

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¡Petición para utilizar las preocupaciones de la comunidad inmigrante como base en el desarrollo político para una Reforma Migratoria!

petition image¡Petición para utilizar las preocupaciones de la comunidad inmigrante como base en el desarrollo político para una Reforma Migratoria! Requerimos recaudar miles de FIRMAS antes la toma de posición del presidente Obama (Enero 21), con ello en mente por favor FIRMEN esta petición electrónica, https://www.change.org/petitions/tell-congress-to-use-immigrant-s-framework-for-immigration-reform-our-leaders-should-use-the-above-framework-for-any-immigration-policy, y compartan este enlace ampliamente, y pidan QUE OTR@S TAMBIÉN LO FIRMEN…

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Petition to use the immigrant community’s framework for Immigration Reform policy development! We are requesting your support in raising thousands of signatures prior to the inauguration ceremony for President Obama (Jan. 21), with that in mind, please sign this electronic petition,https://www.change.org/petitions/tell-congress-to-use-immigrant-s-framework-for-immigration-reform-our-leaders-should-use-the-above-framework-for-any-immigration-policy and share this link widely, and request that others also please sign it…

El Comité Responds to the United States Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant SB 1070 Legislation

MEDIA ADVISORY

For Immediate Release: Thursday June 28, 2012

Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, 206.324.6044/253.347.4229.  info@elcomitewa.org

El Comité Responds to the United States Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant SB 1070 Legislation

 

SEATTLE - El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social views the United States Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070 as a failure on part of our judicial branch to protect the basic rights of immigrants and people of color from harassment and racial profiling. On the morning of Monday, June 25th 2012, the Supreme Court passed down its ruling on the aforementioned, contentious bill. In a 5-3 decision the court ruled that three of the key provisions were unconstitutional, save for the provision that allows for police in Arizona to stop and ask documentation from people presumed to be in the United States without proper documentation.

In April of 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070, sparking contentious debate as to whether states can enforce federal immigration law. The act of signing SB 1070 was perhaps one of the biggest threats to civil liberties in communities of color, setting a dangerous precedent that will reverberate nation-wide. Central to the debate is the provision that allows law enforcement to stop and detain people suspected of being undocumented. Although other provisions were struck down, the fact of the matter remains that in Arizona, police are still able to exercise discriminatory policing based on a person’s appearance.

In Maricopa County, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, was found to utilize excessive and discriminatory force against the Latino community, as reported by a United States Department of Justice investigation. As a whole, the social climate in the state that introduced SB 1070 is one that enables discrimination and hostility toward immigrants and people of color in general.

El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social reiterates the earlier point that in spite of the striking down of three provisions of SB 1070, perhaps the most controversial of these provisions, was left intact by the Supreme Court decision. Of concern with the decision, is the fact that various copycat laws have been passed since the introduction of SB 1070 in Arizona. As we have done over the course of the last twelve years, we will continue to work to ensure that all are given the opportunity to have a dignified existence, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or documented status.

EDUCATE, ORGANIZE, MOBILIZE!

For more information, contact the following: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, 206.324.6044/253.347.4229.  info@elcomitewa.org

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