What is your pledge for Immigration Reform?‏

January 24th, 2013

Dear ROP supporters,

After the November election, the conversation about race was elevated to the national stage – finally out of DC we are hearing discussion about the needs of immigrants, about the power of the Latino vote, and shortly after that about the need to pass an immigration bill.  But politicians on both sides of the aisle have sharply diverging views about what that bill should look like.  So do social justice organizations, businesses, and immigrants themselves.

As human dignity advocates, we will need to throw all of our weight behind our values, pulling the debate down to the level of real people, and away from the powerful push that corporations and their politicians are likely to make. This means elevating the goals of an immigration reform:

  • It must include a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented people
  • It must strive to keep families together

We do not want temporary legal status.  We do not want a guest worker program that treats immigrants as expendable labor, indentured to their employer for legal status.  We do not want a policy that breaks families apart by giving status to the daughter, son, but not the father, mother, or grandparents.

We have the best chance that we’ve had for decades to pass an immigration reform bill at the federal level, and we need all hands on deck to take advantage.  At the same time, we have a responsibility to keep our local communities civil and welcoming places throughout the process and prepare our communities to ensure that policy gets implemented and our communities are ready for the (hopefully great!) changes coming our way.

  • Write a letter to the editor every month to dispel misinformation and quell fears
  • Document the stories of immigrants, and of the teachers, business owners, allies that are heroes in welcoming and supporting immigrants to Oregon
  • Join with a human dignity group in your community to pressure your Congressperson and your local Representatives for national and state solutions
  • Look for local solutions to reducing racial tensions and building a welcoming environment for immigrants who will be targets for backlash this year
  • Travel to Salem for a celebration and rally on May 1st
  • Hold actions at your local jail or Congressperson’s office to build street heat!

Whether your action is local or directed at the national stage, think about what you are ready to do. Encourage your human dignity members, friends, and neighbors to do it too.

Groups and movements are coming together quickly at the national level down to the state to figure out how we can coordinate our efforts for the most impact.  We know a few things already.  We know that from now through March, we’ll focus on education, public meetings, on activating those among our own ranks and bringing new supporters in.  Then, as we heat up for May 1st, a national annual day of action for immigrants rights, we’ll need all hands on deck to put loud, visible pressure on our President, our Congresspeople and the public.ROP will be working closely with our partners at Causa, Oregon’s Immigrants’ Rights group, to keep you posted about what it needed when.  We will keep you updated with ROPnets (like this one) – so forward this message to your friends, make sure they are signed up to get them too.

So…what is your pledge?  How much can you help to promote sane policy and welcoming communities?

Get in touch with me to share your pledge to take action, or to opt into more frequent updates (cara@rop.org).  We will connect you with others that are making the same commitment.  This is going to take all of us.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

PS. If you are someone who likes to stay up to date on the details and latest developments, let me know and I’ll add you to our Immigrant Fairness Network list.

* * * * * *