Upcoming Webinar: Transformational Stories from a Growing Immigrant Rights Movement
More than 20 years ago President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act into law making it possible for 3 million immigrants to legalize their status in the United States. Since then Congress has not passed a law to address the exponential growth in migration over the last two decades or the cumulative human rights abuses facing more than 11 million immigrants.
Today, Congress has come closer than ever before to passing comprehensive immigration reform. But does the immigrant rights movement have the coalition it needs to make it happen? Over the last decade broad and diverse coalitions of immigrant and non-immigrant based organizations from several movements have come together to seek reforms on everything from improving the working conditions of workers in the formal and informal sector, to strengthen protections for immigrant women facing domestic violence and Dreamers seeking full participation in American society.
In the midst of a need and possibility for real reform we have also seen a growth in enforcement and real challenges facing immigrant communities with respect to detention, deportation, racial profiling, and a visa line spanning generations of families. The stringent laws born of a post 9/11 America and a deepening economic crisis have divided families and deported more than 1.5 million immigrants, some of which have left children without mothers and fathers or sent children back to countries they were they have no connection other than their birth.
Despite the hundreds of human rights abuses, every day undocumented immigrants risk everything and step out of the shadows to tell their stories of struggle, hope, and their love of family and this country. Advocates grow in their fervor and continue to risk it all by leading sit-ins, risking arrest and possible deportation in order to send a clear message to the president and congress. America needs more than just comprehensive immigration reform. America needs a reform that keeps families together and treats every person with dignity and respect.
So what choices are necessary to build a broad and inclusive immigrant rights movement? Are we there yet? And what lessons can the movement to end violence against girls and women learn from the immigrant rights leaders?
Together with Ana Avendaño, Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO, Pramila Jayapal, Co-Chair of We Belong Together and Gaby Pacheco, DREAM Supporter and Executive Director of the Bridge Project we’ll discuss the evolution of the movement, the choices that have been made and how leaders work together across movements to advocate for immigrants rights.
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