Issue at Hand
There are 11 million people living in the United States without legal status. In early 2013, a group of biparistan U.S. Senators, also known as the “Gang of Eight,” introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744), a comprehensive immigration reform bill. If this bill is enacted, the U.S. immigration system would undergo the largest overhaul known in recent history.
The bill opens up many new pathways to citizenship for undocumented peoples, and includes the creation of a new Registered Provisional Immigrant Status (RPI), a pathway for Dream Act eligible individuals, and a new non-immigrant W-visa program for low-wage workers.
Despite the potential relief for thousands of people, this bill also includes many barriers. Strict requirements for people in RPI status, such as a mandatory no less than 60 days of unemployment in a ten year period, exclusion from federal public benefit programs and extensive processing fees will make it difficult for low-income people to remain eligible. The bill also includes a mandate that all employers use an electronic employment eligibility verification system (E-Verify), thus ramping up workplace enforcement. In addition, all reforms on status are contingent upon heavy militarization of the border and more stringent deportation measures that would make it more deadly for peoples crossing and would increase the number of people in detention.
The proposal of this bill is significant, but there is more work to do. As you read this, the bill is being debated in Congress. There are still chances to fight for changes in the bill that will provide relief to more individuals and families. Also, in the historic moment there is an even greater need to push for policies that keep all families together, protect human rights along the U.S. border and promote economic justice and dignity for everyone.
What We Can Do
As White people showing up for racial justice, join us in struggle for human rights and human dignity in the fight for human mobility and just immigration reform. We want dignity, economic justice and just immigration reform for all 11 million undocumented peoples in the U.S.!
Below are action items that come in various shapes and sizes designed for your lifestyles. Pick an action or two or more that make sense to you to do as Congress debates the immigration bill.
Read up on the immigration bill and discuss with friends, family and organizations. Check out these helpful outlines and fact sheets:
2 MINUTE ACTION: In just 1 click you can spread the word
- No more separation of families! We belong together! #webelongtogether #fedoras4fairness #justimmigrationreformnow
- I support immigration reform that is fair for women and families. #webelongtogether #fedoras4fairness #justimmigrationreformnow
- Migration is a human right! No to border militarization and yes to just and fair immigration reform for everyone! #noborderdrones #humanbeingsarenotillegal #keepfamiliestogether
- We need education, justice, and freedom for families–not deportation! Obama–stop the deportations! #niunomas #not1more
- Not one more border drone. Not one more injustice. Not one more deportation. #NiUnoMas #Not1more
5 MINUTE ACTION: Sign up, Donate, and Make a Call
Sign up for email lists, sign petitions and donate to leading grassroots immigrant rights organizations:
Make a phone call to support grassroots efforts to push for changes in the bill that will benefit a broader number individuals and families in more just ways and to support individuals currently facing deportation. Make a call to support:
- Not One More Deportation’s call for support for individuals currently facing deportation
30 MINUTE ACTION: Write a message and snap a photo
Support We Belong Together’s Fedoras for Fairness Campaign. They say: women wear many hats, but on fair immigration, we speak with one voice. Write a message in support of immigration reform that is fair for women and LGBTQ folks. Take photos of you and your family, friends and community members wearing fedoras and share them with the hashtag #fairdora!
Share one of these images on our Facebook page and write a message about what you want to add to the Immigration debate! Thanks to the artists who have offered to use their artwork for this project. Visit their websites to see more of their art. Past the tinyurl link onto Facebook:
1 HOUR ACTION: Do some writing
Letter to the Editor: Write an LTE about why immigration reform is an important issue for you and why you think that we need just and inclusive immigration reform. Send it to your friends, family, organizations, and to the local papers. Post it on our Facebook page.
Here are some writing prompts:
I support immigration reform that includes all 11 million undocumented peoples in the country because…
I support immigration reform that does not rely on border militarization because…
I support the call for a moratorium on deportations because…
1 HOUR + ACTION: Take a day off your usual grind and spend the day provoking change!
For any action, meeting, or in-person event please take pictures or a short video and upload it to Facebook!
- Show me your papers: People have used street theater to dramatize the effects of laws like SB1070 and copycat laws across the country.
Dress in a costume of a police officer. Go to a crowded street where people walk. Stop people who appear to be White European Americans and ask them for their papers or ID's. Ask them about their European ancestry. Ask people if they have heard of SB1070, explain it, and say that your local area is doing something different, you are requiring European Americans to go back to Europe and give the land back to the Indigenous people of that land.
Have flyers to hand out about Immigration and the Indigenous people of the land.
- Hold a house party to discuss just immigration reform: Use a short movie, YouTube videos, or an article on the new immigration reform bill to spark conversation with folks in your networks.
Possible Videos to Show:
DREAMers Reunite With Deported Parents at US/Mexico Border! from United We Dream
National Fast to Say “Not One More Deportation” from notonemoredeportation.org
Fedoras for Fairness from We Belong Together.
The Undocumented by Marco Williams, PBS Independent Lens