East Harlem Against Deportation, at its roots, draws its strength from immigrants, their friends and loved ones, and local community organizations, all of whom daily live out the struggle against our country's broken immigration system. Our movement will include organizing events and a letter-writing campaign throughout Spring and Summer 2009, as well as the formulation of a specific policy agenda to protect undocumented immigrants in New York City and State.
Las raíces de El Barrio Contra La Deportación obtienen sus fuerzas de los inmigrantes, sus amigos y seres queridos, y de organizaciones comunitarias locales. Todos estos viven diariamente la lucha contra el sistema descompuesto de inmigración de este país. Nuestro movimiento incluirá la organización de eventos informativos y una campaña de cartas escritas, por toda la primavera y el verano del 2009. También se formulará una agenda política especifica que protegerá a los inmigrantes indocumentados de la ciudad y del estado de Nueva York.

EHAD Final Policy Report

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Immigration Reform Updates, and Labor Rights Week in NYC

Immigration is the story of American history. From the earliest days of our nation, generation upon generation of immigrants has come to be part of a land that offers freedom and opportunity to those willing to do their part. Immigrants built our great cities. They cultivated our rich farm lands. They built the railroads and highways that bind America from sea to shining sea. They erected houses of worship to practice their faiths. They fought under America’s colors in our wars. In fact, 60,000 immigrants are fighting in the U.S. armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan today. Immigrants worked hard so that their children could embrace the ever widening possibilities in our land. And over the centuries, immigrants came to America from every part of the globe and made the American dream. They created a nation that is the envy of the world.
- Senator Ted Kennedy, as quoted on the Fair Immigration Reform Movement Blog

Senator Ted Kennedy passed away last week, marking a tremendous loss for immigration reform that sparked tribute from scholars, journalists, and activists. The ImmigrationProf Blog notes that Kennedy was the only U.S. Senator alongside Obama to participate in the immigrant rights marches of 2006, and Albor Ruiz of New York Daily News laments the deep moral vacuum that Kennedy leaves in the struggle for justice for immigrants.

A Maryland judge upheld E-Verify requirements for federal contractors in a ruling late Wednesday, a decision that paves the way for the rule to take effect on September 8. The National Council of La Raza released a report today on the alarming fatality rate of Latino workers, which corresponds to earlier U.S. Bureau of Statistics' report that Hispanic worker deaths have risen by more than 76% since 1992, while the overall number of worker deaths have actually declined (see EHAD blog post, July 24).

In Tijuana, six were arrested for ripping down parts of the border fence and selling them as scrap metal, an act to which Kevin Johnson of the ImmigrationProf blog provided the following commentary: "The brilliance of Congress always amazes me -- reduce migration by providing economic assistance to the Mexican economy through the border fence!" The irony in Johnson's statement recalls writer Mario Vargas Llosa's 2006 article, "Un muro de mentiras," in which Vargas Llosa argues for a more sensible solution to border enforcement in the form of business investments that would create more jobs on the other side of the border.

*Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 2, between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., the Children's Aid Society of East Harlem will host a showing of "Salt of the Earth," a 1954 film based on a strike led by Mexican-American and Anglo miners in New Mexico. This screening is a part of the Mexican Consulate's series on labor rights, and will feature speakers and information tables from the Consulate, Esperanza del Barrio, the Department of Labor, and other agencies. For more information, contact the Children's Aid Society at 212 348 2343.

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