Juntos Responds to the Immigration Bill Passing the Senate

Alto a las Deportaciones!Juntos families, leaders, and community members have fought an incredible fight these past few months for just and humane immigration reform.  We could not be prouder of our leaders who have been out on the front lines demanding we have reform that includes; a pathway to citizenship for all the 11 million undocumented people living in this country, a realistic and affordable process for our working families, educational access and opportunities for our young people and one that stops the inhumane and unjust deportation of our loved ones.

Just last year Juntos also led a courageous campaign entitled “The Hate Stops Here” pushing back on over 20 anti-immigrant bills in the state of Pennsylvania. Over 500 people and 20 organizations & unions came with us to Harrisburg and chanted “Si se Puede!” in support of our human rights. So it breaks our hearts to see that what passed through the Senate yesterday bears a striking resemblance to some of the very same anti-immigrant bills we were fighting against last year (E-verify, we see you!)

The reality is that this current immigration reform bill WILL NOT be inclusive of our 11 million brother and sisters.  Many of our loved ones will not qualify due to strict guidelines and those that do will need to make it through 10 years of probationary status before they can access a green card. If an individual in probationary status earns below the federal poverty line or has been unemployed for more than two months he or she will lose their status.  This is of grave concern for our community as many of our families struggle to make ends meet and already endure many labor abuses in order to do so.  What about our family members who are senior citizens, students, mothers who need to stay home with their children, the disabled, our domestic workers or day laborers? These types of guidelines will leave many people even more vulnerable as they try to remain in probationary status through conditions that are out of their control.

Add to all of this the $46 billion being proposed on more enforcement at the Mexico-US Border.  This type of spending would allow for more agents to be at the border than troops in Afghanistan, making the Mexico-US border the one of the most militarized borders in the world. All of this at a time when we are closing public schools across this nation at record speed and slashing education budgets so deep we are leaving our children without art, music, language supports, and far less teachers.  Wouldn’t that $46 billion be better spent on our schools and in our youth.

As this bill enters into the House of Representative we hope that our President can see the need to support immigration reform that puts our families first,  prioritizes our human right and ends the dangerous quota system that breaks apart 1,100 families a day.  Juntos leaders will continue to fight for what is right with the same courage we always have and we can only hope that those in power will find the courage to do the same.

Rumbo a la Reforma

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This past Sunday Juntos held its first workshop on the currently proposed legislation for Immigration Reform, Rumbo a la Reforma. Community members, as well as Univision, came out in full force to learn about the state and federal Dream Act, as well as what would be the path to citizenship under the reform bill currently in the Senate.

Juntos leaders educated the audience with the slideshow below. What was clear through the presentation was that the Bill as it stands now provides a difficult path to citizenship. Leaders and community members both agreed that the requirements for citizenship being proposed are nearly impossible to meet. Therefore, Juntos has crafted six points that should be addressed in a truly comprehensive immigration reform bill.

  • Reform that guarantees an end to the unjust deportations of our families. A moratorium on all deportations.
  • Reform that creates a timely path to citizenship, not the currently proposed thirteen years.
  • Reform that treats all people equally despite the skill level or sector of society that person comes from.
  • Reform that does not divide into those who deserve citizenship and those who don’t. We a community united.
  • Reform that supports our young people to become educated.
  • Reform that addressed the economic and political causes of migration for our communities. A real solution that gets to the root of the problem.

      Finally, the day was wrapped up with a Q&A with immigration lawyers and round chanting, the community shouting together “Si se puede!”

Download (PPTX, 1.17MB)

Victory in Norristown!

JusticeCheck out this article by WHYY “Traffic stops become immigration stops in Deleware Valley.” on how last year in Norristown checkpoints and routine traffic stops were being used as immigration traps for immigrants. At the end of the article the new interim Chief of Police in Norristown is quoted as saying, “ICE won’t be back when his officers do checkpoints this summer.”  Victory! Over the past year Juntos’ work has expanded to not just Philadelphia but also the neighboring city of Norristown as we were the first on the scene with local community leaders in shedding light on the human rights abuses that were happening at the hands of local police and Immigration. We will continue to build power in Norritown to ensure that human rights abuses like these come to an end.  We thank all of you who have supported us in this.

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