President-elect Obama will be entering office at a time of great economic insecurity and two wars. Yet, as he is inaugurated on January 20, 2009, the sentiment is one of optimism for the millions of people that helped get him elected and those that were inspired by his victory.
Despite Obama saying that he must be measured by what he can accomplish in the first 1,000 days, the first 100 Days are a critical period when the President and Congress set budget and policy priorities. On February 2, 2009 President Obama will announce his budget and policy priorities for 2009 and 2010.
Our annual meeting was an opportunity for members to affirm and discuss our policy priorities for 2009 at both the federal and state level.
Voces de la Frontera in alliance with the national networks, Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) will be working hard to push for administrative changes that Obama is capable of delivering in 2009 through Executive power.
These include: an end to raids and deportations, repeal of the DHS proposed rule on Social Security No Match letters, repeal of E-Verify, and a halt to 287-G agreements which encourage local and state law enforcement to play an immigration role.
Voces de la Frontera, in alliance with the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), will be working hard to communicate to our elected representatives the urgency of introducing legislation for humane immigration reform in the first 100 days.
The annual meeting highlighted key dates to move immigration reform.
A petition campaign to engage our Senators and Congressional representatives to introduce just legalization legislation in the first 100 Days.
Organizational endorsements for a FIRM letter to the President with a deadline of January 15, 2009.
Participating in the Camp Hope Encampent in Chicago on January 15, 2009
Mobilizing for a National Day of Action on January 21, 2009. In Milwaukee and Racine, activities include public mobilizations, meetings with our elected officials, calls and letters. Voces welcomes coordination with allies in other parts of the State of Wisconsin on this important date.
Other key dates for escalated public activities and communications to our elected officials include Congressional Recesses when elected officials are in their states to meet with their constituents. In the First 100 days these dates are: February 13 – February 23 and April 3 – April 20.
March, 2009, National People’s Alliance march in Washington DC
May 1, 2009, marks the end of the First 100 Days of the new administration and is the next national day of action for immigrant rights mobilizations.
The Annual Meeting discussion emphasized the importance of access to driver’s license as part of our state agenda.
In the State of Wisconsin, Voces de la Frontera has initiated a postcard campaign to include in-state tuition for immigrant students and access to drivers’ licenses and state issued identification for Wisconsin residents who currently do not qualify because of their immigration status, in the State budget.
Both of these campaigns require that the immigrant community and our allies double our efforts to communicate with our elected officials and participate in public actions and meetings.
The struggle requires all of us – like the desert, which is great and powerful, it is made of small grains of sand. Our struggle, united, represents the desert. As individuals we do not represent much signifcance for those in power. United we are as powerful as the desert. Only united will our voices be heard.
To win legalization, education rights, and drivers’ licenses in the New Year, we cannot wait hoping that somebody else will get the job done. The struggle requires all of us, so join the First 100 Days Campaign! For justice and dignity!