Sunday, January 10, 2010
Arpaio's America IS NOT Our America
Organizations and activists plan to march on Phoenix, AZ on January 16 to definitively announce: Arpaio's America is not our America!
Puente Movement organizers say this marks "a new phase" in the struggle for justice and dignity in Maricopa County, Arizona and in other communities suffering severe civil rights abuses due to the failure of United States immigration policy.
From the group, Puente:
"The nation has watched with disbelief as Sheriff Joe Arpaio has carried out a systematic reign of terror disguised in the name of immigration enforcement, but directed against all communities of color in his jurisdiction. In the process, he has become a symbol of abuse, bigotry, and intolerance. The Obama Administration's recent endorsement of Sheriff Arpaio - through the renewal of his 287(g) authority and its expansion of local immigration enforcement initiatives proven to cause racial profiling - is an affront to this nation's struggles for equality and justice.
Not since the days of Bull Connor has this country seen a public official abuse his authority in order to terrorize and intimidate communities based on the color of their skin. The hatred and extremism that Sheriff Arpaio breeds is felt from Phoenix to Washington DC. It is an extremism that, left unchallenged, threatens to disrupt communities, destroy lives, and undermine bedrock constitutional protections for us all. "
The group lists six specific demands:
· A termination of Sheriff Arpaio's 287(g) contract, which grants him federal immigration law enforcement authority.
· An end to the controversial 287(g) program, the so called " Secure Communities" initiative, and others like them that spread racial profiling and civil rights abuses across the nation.
· An end to criminalization of migrants and communities of color in the name of immigration enforcement.
· An end to family separation.
· The passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation that provides legal status and political equality to undocumented immigrants.
· A restoration of constitutional rights to all people.
Dolores Huerta and other civil rights and labor leaders will attend the event, as well as artists like Zac de La Rocha and Linda Rondstat. Organizers invite members of the public who are unable to attend the march to endorse the event: Click here to endorse the march
Currently, in other parts of the nation, immigrants and their supporters are conducting an indefinite fast that centers in Florida and has participants across the country. College students are marching over one thousand miles to Washington DC. in a walk designed to draw attention to the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Clergy and community activists have been arrested in acts of civil disobedience in New York to free Jean Montrevil, an immigrant rights leader. These actions share a common goal: immigrant rights groups are moving hard and fast to pressure Napolitano and DHS to respect the rights of immigrants and people of color, and stop destroying communities and separating families with immigration raids, detention and deportations.