Help us make our $25,000 match. Become a member today!

Protesters urge Feinstein to take lead on immigration reform

SF Public Press
 — Mar 25 2010 - 3:18pm

Capping a wave of national immigration-rights actions across the country, local organizers turned this week to urging Sen. Dianne Feinstein to support comprehensive reform.

About 2,000 Bay Area immigrants and others rallied Wednesday in front of Feinstein’s San Francisco office. The nationwide effort — including a march of 200,000 in Washington, D.C. — is aimed at pressuring Congress to support “humane comprehensive immigration reform” to protect undocumented immigrants while moving them toward legal status, prevent immigrant families from being split apart by deportations, and other goals.

“We are here to tell Dianne Feinstein now is the time for immigration reform, that immigrants must have their rights, that workers must be respected,” Ali Noorani, of the National Immigration Forum, told the crowd. “No longer will we be silent when families are getting ripped apart, and people are dying on our borders. No more excuses.”

The rally featured state and national immigrant rights leaders, as well as local politicians, urging senators Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to play a lead role in passing comprehensive immigration reform measures currently making their way through Congress.

“Senator Feinstein, don’t just support immigration reform, lead the way in immigration reform,” San Francisco Supervisor David Campos said.

Eric Quezada, a local immigrant-rights leader and nonprofit director, told protesters, “Every day that goes by without immigration reform, another parent is separated from their child, and that is unacceptable.”

Local advocates were joined by statewide leaders such as Angelica Salas, of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, a city that she said hosts “the largest number of people being deported” in the country. Each night, 1,400 immigrants sit in detention centers in Los Angeles awaiting likely deportation, according to Salas, who described “constant harassment of people who are undocumented.”

The crowd was filled with families, including 45-year-old Anna Samuel of Richmond, and her 5-year-old son. “We work hard and don’t bother anyone,” she said.

Asked why he was protesting, 10-year-old Josue Calixtro said, “to get freedom for our family.”

Comments

America's population growth is (a) perpetual and (b) accelerating: Its population (a) has grown 108 of the last 109 years and (b) grew by 76 million in the first half of the 20th century but by 130 million in the second half. Only two factors can contribute to that growth: (1) births and (2) immigration. If current generations of Americans have the right and a responsibility to consider what an optimum American population should be on behalf of future generations, it seems illogical and undemocratic to try to establish immigration policy without first establishing a population policy.

So the only immigration issue that progressives are concerned about is that of poor immigrants of color?

The United States Government maintains the H1-B visa program which allows firms to import inexpensive labor generally from South Asia. The stated intent of this program follows a National Science Foundation study on how to lower the wages of Computer Science PhDs. This, of course, trickles down wage reductions to all tech workers. It also places H1-B workers at risk of retaliation because their legal status is dependent on employment with the sponsoring firm.

The reason why immigration reform espoused by progressives is on the agenda is because it benefits corporations to have access to a very low wage pool of workers who will do work that most existing Americans will not. There is nothing wrong with uniting with power when the outcome is good.

However, where are progressives in solidarity with American tech workers, some of the few which have been able to work at a job which had given us a life as good as or better than our parents? Since 1990, real tech wages have fallen by 1/2.

I'm all for immigration reform, only not the kind where it is win-win for employers and win-lose for workers. How can immigration activists leave behind American workers when immigration reform is on the table?

Don't forget that we're a nation of immigrants, BUILT on the backs of slaves and immigrants no less. Just a bit of context for everyone to keep in mind.

Vote any illegal immigrant proponents out of office who are catering to the intolerable population of illegal aliens. That covers Governors, Mayors, Judges, Police Chiefs, City councilors, managers and any elected official who condones the illegal alien invasion. Make a point of trying to beat illegal aliens to the voting booth in November. We must be on our guard in the midterm elections, because illegal aliens will vote in states that do not use picture ID Even this is not fool proof, specially in California where you can buy fraudulent ID in Los Angeles for $50.00. This will specifically happen in the SANCTUARY STATE of California and Nevada. We must make examples of politicians who support illegal aliens with government entitlements. As an example Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) must be kicked out first, followed closely with the boot, Nancy Pelosi D-CA) and Sen.John McCAIN (R-AZ). Learn their outrageous immigration records at NUMBERSUSA.Learn about Washington corruption that effects your paycheck at JUDICIALWATCH.