While every day more people are losing their jobs and homes, we hear about Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) whose companies were responsible for creating the economic crisis, using bailout money to go to spas and give themselves exorbitant bonuses.
The dismantling of government oversight and regulation over banks and corporations has led to a global financial crisis, which reflects the level of political influence that Corporate America has in the halls of government.
Despite this growing hardship, the election of President Obama speaks to a level of optimism and desire for change from previous economic and social policies. But the danger is the belief that Obama can create that change alone. Obama himself says,” I cannot make the changes I would like to make without a social
movement at my back.” Social movements, large numbers of people working collectively together for a common cause, have always been the basis for social change.
On February 12, 2009 during a radio interview with El Pistolero, President Obama affirmed that broad immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship is a priority for his Administration.
May 1st will once again be our great opportunity to give our support that the President requires of us.
May 1st is another National Day of Action to express through mass participation the people’s desire for the administration to fulfill its promise.
On May 1, Milwaukee has always demonstrated a level of solidarity that has been recognized at the national level, and this year will not be the exception. We are counting on you!
Remember that through our actions we were able to defeat Sensenbrenner’s HR4437, a massive criminalization, in 2006; and the rejection of racist politics, evident in the manner in which Latinos voted in 2008.
As a result of recent efforts, in the First 100 Days campaign, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Senator Feingold have both committed to co-sponsor the Dream Act. This bill would provide the ability of undocumented students to adjust their status if they pursue higher education.
Congresswoman Moore has also committed to write a letter to the head of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the head of Appropriations to end raids and deportations till there is a review and oversight of DHS for labor, civil, and human rights violations.
Another accomplishment nationally is preventing the E-Verify program to be tied to the economic stimulus package. This program would force any employer receiving government funds to use E-Verify to electronically verify a worker’s immigration status and social security number when they apply for a job. This program has many errors and would have created many problems for all workers. Due to our national efforts to make calls to our elected officials we were able to ensure that the economic stimulus package passed without this verification amendment.
Another recent accomplishment was that SCHIP (The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009) a health program for children and pregnant women passed into law while eliminating racist rules that prohibited legal permanent resident children and mothers from receiving federal medical insurance for a period of five years.
At the state level, Voces is working with organizational allies in the Coalition for Safe Roads to have a driver’s license certificate option and in-state tuition for immigrant students introduced into the Governor’s budget.
As you can see, our struggle has borne fruit from the unity we have created. Remember that on May 1st it is better to lose one day of work than to live a life in the shadows and persecution.
This post is also available in: Spanish