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Fight Heats Up for Immigrants' Rights

The Senate Judiciary Committee intends to make conditions worse for all undocumented workers and for everyone who realizes the vital importance of worker unity. Chairman Arlen Spector's proposal includes the worst features of House Resolution 4437, which passed on December 10, and goes further to create a virtually permanent underclass of low-paid workers.

In articles in Spanish and English, the People's Weekly World newspaper calls the proposal "a new system of servitude for imported labor..." Features of HR4437, especially the criminalization of all undocumented workers and anyone who helps them, remain. The Senate would add "guest worker" programs to the detriment of all workers and for the benefit of employers.

Writer Rosalio Munoz says, "At a Feb. 28 press conference, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson called the Specter proposal 'a blueprint for exploitation' for immigrant and citizen workers by creating a two-tier work force, with temporary workers kept from participating in the struggles for labor rights." Leading churchpersons, most notably Catholic leaders, have denounced the entire process.

Join the Fight!

Texas activists are throwing into this vital fight for working class unity. Houston has already had one massive demonstration. In Dallas, Jobs with Justice started a petitioning campaign, a call-in campaign to Senator Cornyn, and a call for resolutions by organizations. Literature and details of the struggle are on this site.

Activist Marian Avalos provided a copy of a resolution/letter just passed by the Green Party of Dallas County:

Dear Senators Cornyn and Hutchison,

We are deeply concerned about the upcoming deliberations in the Senate on immigration policy, especially given the alarming provisions of HR 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005.
As immigrant, union, church, civic, civil rights and community organizations in Texas representing a broad array of constituencies, we urge you to take a leadership role in the Senate to uphold the rights and contributions of new immigrants.
As a nation of immigrants we have benefited culturally, socially and economically. Yet, especially since 9/11 new immigrants have been targeted by hate groups, and pushed further into the shadows. Rather than make our country safer, punitive measures against immigrants diminish opportunity for everyone.

We urge that you reject the provisions of HR 4437 entirely and oppose all measures that criminalize undocumented workers and those they relate to. We urge that you oppose all measures that further militarize the border, deny due process, and deputize employers and local and state police to enforce immigration laws.

Rather, we urge that you champion and support legislation that will allow new immigrants to make their full contribution to our nation through legalization, a path to citizenship, family reunification, and protection of worker rights.
A wide range of over 300 national organizations oppose the provisions of HR 4437, including Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, People for the American Way, American Civil Liberties Union, National Council of La Raza, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, AFL-CIO, League of Untied Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. By taking a leadership position for immigrant rights, you will represent the aspirations and needs of our state and nation.
We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss further, and look forward to your response.

The Green Party of Dallas County
3310 Fairmount 11F
Dallas, TX 75206
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