el Dia del Migrante Internacional/International Day of the Migrant

PNNscholar1 - Posted on 09 August 2010

el Dia del Migrante Internacional/International Day of the Migrant Coalition of Migrant Grupos celebrate the United Nations International Day of the Migrant Marlon Crump/PNN Sunday, December 28, 2008; "S.F.P.D, don't conspire with I.C.E!" (Immigration and Customs Enforcement.) "No Human Being is ILLEGAL!" "Stop Illegal Raids!" "Municipal I.Ds NOW!" "Free Trade is not Fair Trade!" "Newsom, meet with us your constituents! 40% of all San Franciscans are Immigrants!" The sounds of these protest signs by numerous Immigrant Rights protesters and supporters couldn't have spoken louder than the outcries of the protesters, themselves. These signs, carried by protesters and supporters took their siege on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on a nippy, dew-dropped sunshine-shifting, Thursday afternoon, in response to the sieges/ raids (deportation) that were unrelenting against migrant workers, at the hands of I.C.E (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). The lack of intervention(s) by the City of San Francisco itself, vs the immediate intervention and outrage for numerous San Franciscans, shows everyone that once again the real power comes from the voice and actions of the People...........not the politicians. This day of December 18th, 2008 marked the day of the International Migrants Day as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly. This was also a landmark, in sink with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which celebrated its 60th anniversary a week ago. As "proclaimed" by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, in particular as race, color, or national origin." The ongoing battle/movement for the Rights of Undocumented migrant Families, Youth, Workers, and people in general in the face of City, State, and ultimately the U.S Government continues. This year's Migrants Day occurred at a time when S.F's Immigrant Community is facing unbearable budget cuts to critical public services. Today's Migrants Day also occurs at a time where the Human Rights of all Undocumented Immigrants are constantly under attack, alongside of the budget cuts. "My basic concern is that they (I.C.E) are deporting the Youth, 12 and up." Ray from H.O.M.E.Y (Homies Organizing the Mission and Empowering Youth) explained to me as I kept my other ear to the rally. "They're deporting these kids to unfamiliar countries with no money, no clothes, and no families to go to once they get to that country that they are deported to." H.O.M.E.Y was just one of the estimated 30 organizations that saturated the steps of S.F City Hall to voice their total opposition to the rampant attacks against Undocumented Immigrants. Teresa Molina of POOR Magazine's Voces de Inmigrantes en resistencia program which teaches POOR Magazine’s brand of revolutionary – change journalism to migrant workers was there with me re-porting and sup-porting on the important action for PNN. "Young Latino people are being picked up (racially profiled) by the S.F.P.D for small offenses." Abigail Trillin from the San Francisco Immigrants Legal Services explained to me. She further explained that minor offenses often turn into felonies, which then are reported to I.C.E by the S.F.P.D. Constant questionable traffic stops of people of presumed Latino ethnicity have not gone unnoticed as well. Elizabeth Alexander of the Central City Collaborative (also in attendance) brought awareness of this issue to me, a few weeks ago as I strolled through the Tenderloin District on my way to a meeting. "We've had multiple cases of young looking Latino men being stopped and accused of running red lights and having expired tags." said Barbara Lopez, of La Voz Latina Project of Tenderloin Housing Clinic. "They (S.F.P.D) are pretexts to uncover unlicensed drivers and tow their cars." The San Francisco Immigrants Rights Defense Committee has revealed a platform of proposals to make Dignity a matter of Equality, and Due Process of law a reality for all San Franciscans, including Immigrants. In recent months, the administration of S.F Mayor Gavin Newsom has taken a number of measures that have had a wounding impact on Immigrant Families and threaten to undermine the fundamental Human Rights principles in San Francisco . The Committee calls on the City of San Francisco to do the following: * Uphold the 1989 Sanctuary City Ordinance, including ending Racially Biased Policing and all law enforcement's harassment. * Revise San Francisco 's new Juvenile Justice policy, implemented this past July, because it denies due process to Immigrant Youth by requiring that probation officers refer these youths to I.C.E.........before a hearing. (Undocumented Immigrant Youth breaking the law must be routinely processed through Family Court, not the Adult Criminal Justice System, as it now stands). * Announce a specific date for the implementation of the Municipal ID program. * Advocate to stop Federal Immigration raids, and any S.F.P.D collaboration with I.C.E. that tears Immigrant Families apart. * Preserve funding for essential services for all, including Immigrant Youth and Families. As I continued the painstaking process of reporting and supporting, the chants tremendously increased solidarity for the Rights of Undocumented Immigrants, deafening my eardrums: "Who's City?" " Sanctuary City !" "Who's City?" " Sanctuary City !" "As proud San Franciscans, we're just asking for the right to be accepted." Adoubou Traore, executive director of the African Immigrant and Refugee Center said to me, amidst the crowd's chants. "If our rights are violated, there is NO due process. Africans are the most recent group of immigrants to San Francisco . We intend to fully participate in its community." Se ve, Se siente" "El Pueblo presente esta" "We are greatly alarmed by what is a growing climate of fear and repression that is taking over our communities." Lamoin Werlein-Jaen from the Unite Here Local 2 Restaurant Hotel Worker's Union stated to me. He expressed his growing concern to the crowd regarding the I.C.E raids, and the rapid, subsequent retaliation ramifications , retaliations that are often aimed at the Undocumented Immigrant Community, should they so much as demand their right to their very own Rights. "¡Si, Se Puede!" "¡Si, Se Puede!" "For me, it is very significant that today's event really showed all of the suffering and struggles that the Youth, Families, and people who are affected by the raids are going through." Teresa Molina of POOR Magazine De Voces Immigrantes said, with a bit of hope towards the end to the I.C.E. raids. "As a Christian Minister and follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that when we welcome the stranger in our midst, we are welcoming God among us." Reverend Brenda Vaca of Nueva Vida Ministries said to me "In the Christmas Season, we remember a young family wandering in the cold night looking for a warm place to rest. Jesus and his family were migrants." There were numerous members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, themselves that were apparently in support of Migrants Day and the end to the criminalization of the Undocumented Immigrant Community: Supervisors Chris Daly, Jake McGoldrick, Ross Mirkarimi, David Chiu, the recently elected Eric Mar, John Avalos, and David Campos were in attendance. All of them voiced their concerns, and support for Undocumented Immigrants' Rights. Supervisor-elect David Campos for District 9 gave assurance to everyone in attendance that he would exhort his fellow board members to push towards ending the attacks on the Undocumented Immigrant Community, speaking as a former Undocumented Immigrant himself, from the country of Guatemala . "We will NOT accept second class status!" Campos ' voice splashed into the crowd. Campos informed everyone that on January 15th, 2009, the issue of "Municipal I.Ds" and the Public Safety Committee will be presented on the Board of Supervisors' Item Agenda list for review.(On public television broadcast.) Another S.F Supervisor Elect, Eric Mar of District ended his support speech: "Keep holding us supervisors accountable!"


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