Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Moratorium on Employer Sanctions If No Reform Now

From the Mexican American Political Association:


President Barack Obama could not have been clearer than the statement he made at the close of the two-day summit meeting with the presidents of Mexico and Canada on August 10, 2009, that immigration reform legislation will have to wait until 2010 and indicated that even then will prove a major political test (as reported in the Los Angeles Times). Immigrant advocates and proponents in favor of fair immigration reform and legalization should now have no illusions about the timetable for the change that we hoped for and the change that our people want and need. However, the demand for an immediate moratorium of the Obama enforcement policy becomes more apparent and pressing. There is no other alternative. If we can't have reform this year, we absolutely require relief in the form of a moratorium of the enforcement of employer sanctions, raids, deportations, e-Verify, and prolonged detention for immigration related offenses, which are civil in nature. All non-violent tactics need to be put on the table.

Worker Councils from a growing number of companies that have been targeted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the direction of Secretary Janet Napolitano, directed by the policy of President Barack Obama, are forming and fighting back under extremely adverse conditions the enforcement of employer sanctions sweeping the country. These companies bear the names of Overhill Farms, American Apparel, Farmer Johns, Micro Solutions, and many others. In fact, some 650 have been profiled by this administration. The initial mass terminations have only just begun.

We are organizing ourselves to openly oppose these policies and practices, which are devastating our families during the worst economic times since the 1930s. We call on workers, employers, unions, churches, immigrants' rights coalitions and advocacy organizations, human rights groups, and worker centers to unite and respect our broad call to mobilize urgently and demand an immediate moratorium of the aggressive unprecedented enforcement of employer sanctions with the I-9 audits of profiled companies that hire immigrants, the expanded use of eVerify, the federal system of employment verification, and the expansion of police-ICE collaboration through the 287g program. Enforcement heavy and legalization light is now the order of the day for President Obama.

We call on all unions of the labor movement, that has a responsibility to defend us, to clearly articulate their open opposition to employer sanctions and the I-9 audits, defend their members and all workers targeted for termination due to no-match discrepancies with the Social Security Administration, and openly oppose contract-worker programs as modern indentured servitude no matter by what name they are titled.

We call on the churches of all denominations, which have a responsibility to safe-guard our spiritual well- being, to express vocal opposition to the policies and practices that are tearing up our families and destroying the prospect of us remaining in the U.S. You have a duty to hold the line against any assault on the integrity and unity of the family.

We call on the immigrants' rights coalitions and national networks of different names, that represent that they work on behalf of immigrants and advocate in favor of fair and humane immigration reform, to not fear mass mobilizations of workers and immigrants openly demanding an end to the Obama enforcement strategy, but instead to join us. We want you to demand a full and generous legalization of undocumented immigrants without accepting a horrific deal of "smart enforcement" as a trade-off.

We call on the state and federal legislators to have courage and fight for humane immigration reform and to not be sold on the idea that by demonstrating more enforcement they will be able to win over more moderate and even Republican politicians in favor of legalization. How much more does President Obama want to push us down in order to demonstrate his "tough on immigrants" façade to the American people? We can only stand for so much.

We call on all honest employers that depend on immigrant labor to join the broad movement to oppose employer sanctions and all its discriminatory implications as government heavy invasive intrusions and interruptions of the work-place. You have a moral duty to pay an honorable wage for a good day's work.

We are taking the brunt of the attacks and suffering the immediate consequences of this misguided policy, therefore, our call is urgent to take to the streets on September 5th, the Labor Day weekend, and October 12th, not to ask but demand that President Obama stop the attacks on immigrants and that he fulfill his promise of immigration reform, that which we heard during the presidential campaign, but has recently been forgotten.

We are convening all organizations, unions, churches, and all those who support fair and humane immigration reform to march in the streets and let our voices be heard as one - all at the same level and force - that WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH MR. PRESIDENT. We declare that just as you politicians we also are human beings and we also need to eat and live with dignity. We are honorable workers and we deserve respect. The same as is demanded of us to pay taxes, we demand to be blanketed by the very programs that exist thanks to our contributions, especially during these distressful times.

We represent a blessing for America and the solution to the economic crisis. We demand a fair and humane immigration reform for all NOW. We demand that Obama LEGALIZE AMERICA NOW!

All out on Labor Day September 5th and October 12th!!!
Worker's Council of Overhill Farms
Worker's Council of American Apparel
Worker's Council of Farmer Johns
Worker's Council of Micro Solution
Hermandad General de Trabajadores Union International
Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana
Mexican American Political Association
Chicago Community and Workers Rights
CONLAMIC (The National Coalition Of Latino Clergy And Christian Leaders)
People's Assembly for Popular Education & Liberation (PAPEL)
Chicano-Latino Artists for Social Equality (CLASE)
Congreso Internacional de Mujeres Activistas de las Americas (CIMA)



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