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|3/22: Petition to Defeat the "Sensenbrenner Bill", Repressive Anti-Immigrant Legislation!
Released 23 March 2006  By United Students Against Sweatshops
Defeat the "Sensenbrenner Bill", Repressive Anti-Immigrant Legislation!
March 22, 2006
United Students Against Sweatshops
To take action, click the following link:
On December 16, 2005 a rushed piece of legislation, "the Sensenbrenner
Bill", was passed through the House. The bill gained fame as the most
anti-immigrant legislation in recent history. It specifically targets
day labor workers' centers for fines and would essentially close them
down. It proposes to build a wall between Arizona and Mexico, classify
all 11 million people currently in the U.S. without papers as
aggravated felons and would charge anyone who aids undocumented people
in any way with an aggravated felony. In other words...
If you find someone bleeding on the street and offer them a ride to the
hospital where you find out they don't have papers, you just got
charged with trafficking.
If you have a worker appreciation day for your custodial staff, some of
whom may not be documented, you become a felon under this law.
Since its passage in the House, communities across the country have
mobilized in opposition. Tens of thousands have rallied at the capital
and in cities across the country with over 100,000 people marching in
Chicago under the Banner "No to Sensenbrenner. We Are America." The
Senate judiciary committee on immigration is currently reviewing a bill
proposed by Senator Specter that would have similar provisions in a
more watered-down form.
One piece that is rarely mentioned in all this activity is the affect
such legislation would have on day labor workers centers like the
Albany Park Workers' Center in Chicago or CTIWorC in Austin, TX or
CHIRLA in Los Angeles. The bills would cut government funding to such
Centers, require extensive immigration status checks, and prohibit
municipalities from requiring the involvement in businesses that drive
the day labor market. This is on top of already making all
undocumented workers and anyone who aids them a felon. Essentially, it
would force day laborers back to the street corners and into the
shadows instead of passing reforms that would increase their ability to
integrate into the U.S. and its workforce.
We need your help to defeat this legislation. Please send the letter
below to your senator urging them to vote no on any bill that would
negatively impact day labor workers centers. Tell me more
Dear [ Decision Maker ],
I am a registered voter who stands in solidarity with the day laborers
and immigrant workers in my community. Through my work with United
Students Against Sweatshops I have witnessed, first hand, the benefits
of establishing institutions that support immigrant workers' rights
like day labor workers centers.
As a U.S. Senator, I urge you to oppose the Border Protection,
Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R. 4437), a bill
that passed out of the House that threatens to destroy day labor
centers and make into criminals all of us who act on our values by
supporting those in need in our society; priests, social workers,
doctors, lawyers, and students.
Day labor workers centers like those coordinated by members of the
National Day Laborer Organizing Network are integral institutions in
our communities. Their presence reduces concerns about traffic, health
and safety by providing a safe, secure place for workers to gather as
they search for work. They provide critical resources to our
community, including a hiring hall and hub for worker organizing, legal
clinic, job training programs, ESL, referrals to social services, and a
gathering place for cultural and social events.
The centers have been specifically targeted for elimination by HR 4437
which passed in the House on Dec. 16, 2005. If HR 4437 becomes law,
they will be forced to close, forcing workers back to the street and
undermining our community's hard work.
Under HR 4437 Section 705, Workers' Centers, along with the community
members and religious institutions that support them, could face
millions of dollars in fines. It would also limit our community's
already scarce funding options. It prevents cities from enacting
ordinances that require businesses that play key roles in the day labor
market, such as Home Depot, to contribute to solutions such as day
labor centers. If passed, this legislation will have a devastating
impact on our community.
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