Action against Arizona anti-immigrant legislation continues

activists gathered at dupont circle for vigil to protest AZ legislation, group gathered with candles
Photo via RI4A
I attended this vigil on Saturday night in DC to protest the Arizona anti-immigrant legislation and stand in solidarity with the people of Arizona. It was a beautiful event and I was blown away by the amazing folks gathered. Particularly inspirational were the number of young folks who shared their stories of being undocumented themselves after coming from Latin America with their parents as really young kids. Despite the fact that these young people were raised here, their opportunities are severely limited by their immigration status.
They spoke of the importance of the DREAM Act, which would give kids who were brought here before the age of 16 a path to citizenship.
Rallies, protests and vigils are being held around the country to mobilize against the legislation.
This coming Saturday is also May Day, which in recent years has been a day of activism around immigration reform. Check out Reform Immigration for America for a list of actions you can get involved in.

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4 Comments

  1. cattrack2
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I very much sympathize with the issues facing illegal immigrants & I think the AZ law is generally racist & inhumane. On the other hand, I have a number of friends who immigrated to the US legally, and patiently jumped through the onerous legal & financial hoops we place in the path of even legal immigrants.
    Creating a National Dream Act though would encourage more illegal immigration. While I sympathize with the kids who didn’t ask to be put in this situation, we can’t reward behavior which we actually want to decrease.

  2. S_Mason
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    As far as immigration, I’m torn on the issue. A part of me feels that no one is to be allowed to enter a country illegally. At the same time, these are human beings and I truly believe that racism plays a HUGE part in the anti-immigration laws. Many immigrants place their lives and their health in danger to perform duties that the majority (Caucasians in particular) would NEVER do. I feel that they should have the right to live here peacefully if they haven’t caused any problems since being here. Why should any person of color live in fear because angry Americans are afraid to lose what wasn’t theirs to begin with? I support the kids of illegal immigrants who are trying to make their lives better because that’s what their families wanted for them. I wish I were there to hold a candle as well.

  3. supremepizza
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    “Many immigrants place their lives and their health in danger to perform duties that the majority (Caucasians in particular) would NEVER do.”
    Please don’t take this the wrong way ‘cuz I hear your point, but there’s more than white people to consider here. Illegal immigrants compete for jobs that other low income people could have. Moreover the competition bids down the wage rate. So not only do low income people get crowded out of jobs they could get, beyond that the prevailing wage they do earn is also decreased.
    I’d also be careful about over generalizing about even Caucasians. In Chicago a lot of menial labor is performed by Polish immigrants.

  4. Lily A
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Illegal immigrants compete for jobs that other low income people could have. Moreover the competition bids down the wage rate. So not only do low income people get crowded out of jobs they could get, beyond that the prevailing wage they do earn is also decreased
    Laws that demonize undocumented workers are bad for citizens and legal immigrants as well, because anything that makes undocumented workers more vulnerable makes them easier to exploit. Companies want vulnerable, exploitable workers so they can pay them low wages, offer little benefits, and break labor laws because they know their employees are too scared to report them or fight back. When undocumented people live without fear (or, better, live with visas and paths to citizenship!), wages and conditions are improved for everyone, because workers of all races and nationalities can work together to improve their situation.

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