Tag Archives: america’s voice

CIR ASAP – Who wants to make some history?

I’ve fallen off the blogmap in the past week or so. Between the introduction of CIR ASAP by Representative Luis Gutierrez and preparations for 2010 actions, I’ve been struggling to find time to write. However, there has been so much to write I feel like it will take a while to catch up. But I’m going to try.

First, and foremost, there was the introduction of the CIR ASAP act by Representative Luis Gutierrez. I wrote a round-up of coverage at the RI4A blog that I think captures the excitement and importance of this moment in the fight for immigration reform.

Like Rep. Gutierrez said, there is no longer an excuse for inaction from this Congress and especially from the administration. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and President Obama have continued to reaffirm their support for CIR, but we need to see more firm leadership on this issue and now is the time to step up. All reports indicate that a Senate bill from Senator Chuck Schumer is in the works for early 2010. Now, more than ever, we need each and every voice to join in the fight.

While CIR ASAP is not perfect (the exclusion of LGBT families being a key point of contention) it is by far the best version of an immigration reform bill that we are going to see. It is absolutely essential that we show widespread support for the bill, in order to frame the debate as we head into 2010. You can send a fax in support by clicking here.

As Frank Sharry of America’s Voice noted, this is just the beginning of the fight.

“[CIR ASAP] is the first step in what I anticipate will be a six month, all-out-fight to pass real, comprehensive reform that restores justice to our broken immigration system.  When it is signed into law, this legislation will be one of the largest leaps forward for civil rights that our nation has seen in over 30 years.”

Last week, Representative Gutierrez signaled that its game on for immigration reform. We have the opportunity to fight for (and win) legislation that will improve the lives of millions of Americans and will be a giant victory for the rights of all people. Who’s ready to make history in 2010?

Napolitano: Hopeful for immigration reform in 2010


This morning Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (or as I lovingly call her – J Nap) spoke about immigration reform at the Center for American Progress. While I wasn’t able to attend, I followed along via Twitter thanks to America’s Voice and Voto Latino.

Though much of Sec. Napolitano’s perspective emphasized enforcement – no shock there – she also stated that she is hopeful about immigration reform in early 201o. This is welcome news amidst a lot of speculation and pessimism as to whether reform will even come up for debate early next year. Sec. Napolitano noted that much has changed this time around in the debate. Perhaps the most notable is the new allies joining in the fight for reform.

Here’s the other thing that has shifted in this debate: a larger segment of the American public has embraced the need to engage this debate and arrive at a sensible solution to this problem.

There are leaders of the law enforcement community speaking out, saying that immigration reform is vital to their ability to do their jobs keeping Americans safe. Faith leaders, including the National Association of Evangelicals, have announced their support for immigration reform as a moral and practical issue. We are seeing more business leaders and more labor leaders engaged in this debate in a constructive way than we have ever seen before.

These constituencies have all arrived at the same conclusion that prevails among the American people: this is a problem that needs to be fixed—and the best way to ensure that we can uphold our laws is to make sure our laws are rational and enforceable.

This is a huge point of strength that shows hope for immigration reform efforts in 2010. We have new communities and constituencies on our side and they aren’t just the same old familiar faces. The anti’s who have been screaming for years about law and order now have to answer to law enforcement officials who are chiming in to say that they can’t enforce the laws on the books because those laws are outdated. Business leaders and the Labor community, who before have had a tenuos relationship with immigration reform efforts are fully on board this time around, with a plan for how this reform will boost both the economy and the rights of workers across the board.

In short, its a different landscape for immigration reform in 2010. There is the support for this legislation, but we must keep pressure on Congress to act.

Sec. Napolitano reaffirmed President Obama’s committment to the issue, saying:

The President is committed to this issue because the need for immigration reform is so clear. This Administration does not shy away from taking on the big challenges of the 21st century, challenges that have been ignored too long and hurt our families and businesses. When Congress is ready to act, we will be ready to support them.

With Representative Luis Gutierrez hosting a National town hall on immigration reform next week – and thousands of people participating across the country – its clear that there are champions in Congress who are ready to move on this issue.

So, Chuck Schumer, where you at? Who wants to start sending him calendars  as per suggestions last week? You promised us a bill and we’re ready to see it.

H/T to Erin Rosa at the CampusProgress Blog and Jackie Mahendra at America’s Voice.

Imagine 2050: In Seven Days You Can Help Defeat Anti-Immigrant Bigotry

Eric Ward, from Imagine 2050 blog, consistently produces some of the edgiest and most insightful content in the pro-migrant blogosphere. Yesterday, he outdid himself. In an action-oriented post, he outlined 7 ways to “defeat anti-immigrant bigotry”. So, everyone who reads this post must do the following (and since its Tuesday, I’m asking you to double-up and take on Monday and Tuesday’s task today – I’m sure you can manage!).

MONDAY: Email this blog to six other people who you think might be interested. Write three short sentences telling all of them why you will be participating. Ask them to participate too, and reply to your email letting you know either way.

TUESDAY: Remember all of those times when Fox News host Glenn Beck made bigoted statements about immigrants? Beck may choose to forget but let’s show him we haven’t. Beck is responsible for much of the anti-immigrant sentiment that has spread around the country. Over thirty companies agree with us and have stopped running their ads on the Glenn Beck show. Let’s help Color of Change get the message out even more. Go to http://www.colorofchange.org/beck/ and add your name!

WEDNESDAY: What can I tell you about Lou Dobbs that doesn’t already disgust you? Dobbs has falsely accused immigrants from Latin America of spreading Leprosy in the United States. When he got caught in his lies he simply lied again. CBS’s 60 Minutes didn’t buy his racist lies and neither do we. Now Media Matters is telling us that Dobbs will be participating in a national event organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a known hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s time for CNN to take responsibility. You can read the short media release by clicking here. Now, go leave a comment for CNN President Jonathan Klein at http://edition.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form1.html?35. Tell him that you read the letter Media Matters sent to him, and you demand that he respond. Let Klein know that you are disgusted that CNN is willing to use bigotry to generate profits.

THURSDAY: Today we are going to show tangible support for those who have stood up against anti-immigrant bigotry. Twice in its recent history the Sierra Club has had to fight off anti-immigrant attempts to take over its well-respected environmental organization and corrupt its mission. In 1998 and in 2004 the Sierra Club drew a strong moral barrier against anti-immigrant racism. In recent days the Sierra Club has been targeted by anti-immigrant leaders still upset by the trouncing they took. One leader, Brenda Walker, went so far as to write an article on the white nationalist website VDARE attacking the Sierra Club for its commitment to diversity. Let’s give a little love to the Sierra Club by taking five minutes to join the organization. Click here to join and let them know why! If you are already a member like me, give a gift membership to a family member or friend.

FRIDAY: Anti-immigrant Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been terrorizing members of the Latino community and their allies in Arizona under an agreement with Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano. America’s Voice points out the Napolitano, appointed by President Obama, could stop the insanity at any time with a single stroke of her pen. People have died under his custody, he has raided the offices of a newspaper that exposed his brutality, and he marched Latinos down the middle of the street in chains. Click here at the website of America’s Voice and send a message to Napolitano that “enough is enough!”

SATURDAY: Take five minutes to call a friend or family member. While catching up on the latest, be sure to spend five minutes telling them what you did this week to take a stand against anti-immigrant bigotry.

Send me an email at imag2050@gmail.com. Let me know what happened and how it went!

And I’m adding one last action to take – text JUSTICE [JUSTICIA for Spanish} to 69866 and join the Cell Phone Action Network. We will send you news and alerts so you can be at the frontlines of the fight for immigration reform.

Ok, GO!

ACTION: Kick Arpaio OUT of the 287g program

From our friends at America’s Voice:

Enough is enough. Tell Secretary Napolitano to stop letting Sheriff Arpaio operate outside the law. Ask her to kick him out of the 287-g program, which allows Arpaio’s deputies to become local immigration agents.

Sign the petition, now, and please forward it to your friends!

And if you need a reminder of WHY Arpaio should be kicked out of the program, click here, here or simply watch the video below:

Question on Sotomayor: What does Obama’s SCOTUS Nomination have to do with Immigration Reform?


This morning I was reading all the commentary that is rolling in about how Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor is a move to “buy time” on immigration reform for the administration. And, frankly, I think that folks are wrong about this. Below is an excellent post from Frank Sherry at America’s Voice about exactly why reform will move forward, regardless of Sotomayor and the attention her nomination is garnering.

Originally posted at America’s Voice and cross-posted at the Huffington Post:

Question on Sotomayor: What does Obama’s SCOTUS Nomination have to do with Immigration Reform?

Answer: Nada.

Well, almost nothing. To watch the coverage on mainstream news and in the blogosphere one might think exactly the opposite, however.

Continue reading

ACTION: Stand up for Families

From our friends at America’s Voice:

Whether you celebrate Passover, Easter, or any other holiday this month, let’s take a stand together, as people of moral conscience, for families across America. Watch this video, send a fax to Congress, and share this with your loved ones.

Visit www.americasvoiceonline.org/Family to send a fax to your member of Congress, asking them to stand up for families.

LIVEBLOGGING: The Civil Rights and Local Immigrant Enforcement Hearing in Congress


Jackie at America’s Voice is live-blogging the hearing today. Check it out here!

Today, Members of Congress will hear testimony from an extensive list of witnesses on the civil rights implications of the so-called 287(g) program that allows local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law. Recent studies have shown just how damaging this program can be to communities. It is this same law that allows infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio to continue his operations in Maricopa County, Arizona. Let’s hope that isn’t true for much longer.

Below is the full witness list for the hearing:

Panel I

Julio Cesar Mora
Avondale, Arizona

Antonio Ramirez
Frederick, Maryland Community Advocate

Deborah Weissman
Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of Clinical
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law

Ray Tranchant
Operations Director, Advanced Technology Center, Virginia Beach,
Adjunct Professor at Cambridge College, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Panel II

David Harris
Professor of Law
University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Hubert Williams
Police Foundation

George Gascon
Chief, Mesa Police department
Mesa, Arizona

Kris Kobach
Professor of Law University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law

Also, watch the hearing live here: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/calendar.html

ACTION: Defend Nancy Pelosi’s Courageous Words


Earlier this week, I posted on Nancy Pelosi and her brave call to end the immigration raids.

At a stop on the Family Unity tour, the top leader in Congrees called for reform of our country’s most inhumane immigration tactics. She said our immigration laws are tearing families apart. She also said that knocking down doors in the middle of the night to hunt undocumented workers is un-American.

Anti-immigrant radio hosts and TV commentators have launched a full-scale attack on Speaker Pelosi, calling her un-American for demanding reform to laws that tear husbands away from wives and mothers away from children.

Our friends at America’s Voice have started a campaign to thank Pelosi for her brave comments and to send a resounding message to the anti’s: Raids are un-American and Pelosi should be commended for her bravery.


The goal is to send 1000 letters – we are already at 365 – will you help?

Department of Justice to Investigate Arpaio!

Alright folks, I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a week and a LOT has happened. Most importantly the Department of Justice has finally called for an investigation into Sheriff Joe Arpaio! This comes on the heels of a major action in Arizona, an online petition from America’s Voice and a nation-wide outcry against the antics of Sheriff Joe.


From the AP:

Federal authorities told a high-profile Arizona sheriff Tuesday that they will investigate his department over allegations of discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures.

The U.S. Justice Department said in a letter to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio that investigators will focus on alleged patterns of police discrimination based on national origin.

This announcement was made Tuesday and on Wednesday America’s Voice delivered the online petition with over 38,000 signatures supporting the DOJ investigation.  Below is a video from the event that features Rep. Nadler, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

Thanks to everyone who signed the America’s Voice petition and helped in the effort to Bring Joe to Justice!

ACTION: Bring Joe to Justice: 2,000 More Signatures to Go

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona has made a career out of hunting immigrants, stroking his own massive ego and grossly violating human and civil rights. All this while being supported by the Federal government under the 287(g) agreement, which gives him the ability to enforce Federal immigration law.


Recently, Sheriff Joe has brought his outrageous antics to a new level, marching detainees in chains through the streets of Phoenix to a tent city, surrounded by barbed wire. Obama may have closed Gitmo, but Arpaio has set up his own version of the notorious prison right here in the U.S. of A.

Help bring Joe to justice – sign the petition! www.sheriffjoemustgo.com

America’s Voice has been circulating a petition demanding a Department of Justice Investigation into Arpaio (something that was also recently demanded by the House Judiciary Subcommittee). The petition – which can be found at www.sheriffjoemustgo.com –  will be delivered to the DOJ on March 7th and we are hoping to have at least 10,000 signatures by that date. Right now, there are 8,000 people signed on to the petition. Have you signed it? Have your friends signed it? Has your Grandma Lucy signed it?

But really, Joe Arpaio’s actions are no joking matter.No official is above the law, and yet Sheriff Arpaio has engaged in racial profiling and civil rights abuses for years with impunity.