With the ever-increasing audacious proposals sweeping across the country that leave children nation-less or bar individuals from basic public services, we need to say enough is enough. Now is the time to tell our politicians and community members to bring the conversations back to supporting the core values of diversity, unity, and acceptance that we uphold as a country, state, and local community.
What are some current issues facing the immigrant community in Oregon?
- Driver’s Licenses – In 2008, then-Governor Ted Kulongoski signed away immigrants’ right to obtain drivers licenses citing threats to public safety and terrorism as poor excuses for passing this anti-immigrant bill. The law’s impact on the immigrant community has been devastating, forcing parents to live in constant fear of deportation every time they get behind the wheel, tearing apart families for minor traffic violations, and creating more dangerous streets for everybody. This legislative session we will push for an ID Card that allows people to legally drive and openly participate in our communities. TAKE ACTION HERE!
- Anti-immigrant ballot measures – Recent SB1070-type ballot measures have been introduced into the Oregon legislature attacking the immigrant community. One very worrisome measure prohibits State Agencies from providing services such as education and healthcare, employment, and products to undocumented individuals. Another requires local law enforcement to act as Immigration Enforcement rather than focusing on keeping the community safe. This hateful legislation uses immigrants as scapegoats and wastes legislative time that should be dedicated to finding solutions to the real economic problems our country is facing.
- ICE collaboration with local law enforcement – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), continues to deport individuals. Immigrants live in fear that doing a basic activity, like driving or going to work, could result in their deportation. Through programs such as Secure Communities ICE is drawing on local law enforcement resources. This collaboration, rather than protecting our communities, actually erodes public trust, allows for racial profiling and police abuse, and contradicts our state’s history of welcoming immigrants.
How can I act?
- GET INFORMED: Stay updated through ROP’s email alert system by sending your name to email@example.com or visiting our website at www.rop.org. Visit CAUSA’s website to look at their 2011-2013 legislative agenda at www.causaoregon.org
- TELL Governor John Kitzhaber (503-378-4582) and your state legislator that you support creating alternative driver’s licenses for all.
- Call or write your local representatives to tell them not to support Anti-immigrant ballot measures that detract from our government creating real solutions to our current economic crisis.
- SPEAK OUT for immigration fairness in your community through writing letters to the editor or hosting forums on debunking myths about immigration.
- RESEARCH your local law enforcements relationship with ICE. Set up a meeting with your local Sheriff and/or Police chief to voice your concerns about programs such as Secure Communities that ICE supports.
Contact the Rural Organizing Project at 503-543-8417 or firstname.lastname@example.org for support in any of the above activities. We can offer sample letters, call scripts and other tools to advance a message of immigration fairness at the legislature and in our communities in 2011.