Feinstein, Stop Pushing Your Anti-Immigrant Legislation!


Demonstration Against Feinstein’s Anti-Immigrant Bill
Michael Lyon writes:

Friday, June 01, 2007. One hundred angry and determined immigrants and immigrant rights activists shouted, chanted, made speeches, and blocked the entrances to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office building this noon. The entire plaza in front of her building was occupied by demonstrators, who could be heard at least a half block away. Large rolls of chicken wire fence with white crosses were used to block the entrances to the building. As police moved in to clear the entrances, the focus of the action shifted to a speaker demanding equal rights for immigrants as police prepared to arrest her and five others. Feinstein, who makes a practice of regally ignoring anyone challenging her anti-worker, anti-immigrant, and anti-senior/disabled agenda, was forced to come down to the sidewalk and speak with the large number of reporters present, waiting, of course, until demonstrators blocking the doors were safely out of sight.

Feinstein is pushing immigration legislation that represents a compromise between conservative racists, who favor ethnic cleansing and expulsion of immigrants, and liberal racists, who favor large numbers of guest worker immigrants in a vulnerable legal limbo, where they can be exploited as cheap labor. The results would be broken families, increased border deaths, heightened terror against immigrants nationwide, a huge increase in abused immigrant workers, and worse wages, working conditions, and benefits for US-born workers.

Feinstein’s plan would further militarize the borders, set up more ICE raids and detention centers, and set up a national ID card that both citizens and immigrants would need to work. Once these measures are in place, current undocumented immigrants could begin the legalization process involving thousands of dollars in fines and fees, criminal background checks, and heads of households would have to leave the country with no assurance that they could re-enter and rejoin their families. Meanwhile, millions of immigrants would be brought in as temporary workers, never eligible for permanent residence and subject to deportation the minute their work ends, so they would be as brutally exploited as the braceros of the 1950s, and would also be used as a club against citizen workers also. Finally, preferences for permanent residence would be changed, favoring highly educated, technically trained English speakers over family members of current immigrants.

As with the Iraq war, events are showing liberals and conservatives in government are objectively on the same side. While George Bush, Dianne Feinstein and Edward Kennedy labor to force an immigration compromise through, the government steps up ICE raids to terrorize us into accepting their plans. We will not be moved. We demand an end to ICE raids, total amnesty, free detainees, no guest worker programs, and equal rights for immigrants. Citizen and immigrant unity. We want a world without borders.

Listen to a great KPFA Flashpoints interview on Feinstein’s bill and the demonstration.

Watch news coverage of the demonstration.


2 Responses to “Feinstein, Stop Pushing Your Anti-Immigrant Legislation!”

  1. 1 mlyon01 June 2, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Many of us had not even been born yet in January 28 1948, when, according the the AP,

    “A chartered Immigration Service plane crashed and burned in western Fresno County this morning, killing twenty-eight Mexican deportees, the crew of three and an Immigration guard. Irving F. Wixon, director of the Federal Immigration Service at San Francisco, said that the Mexicans were being flown to the deportation center at El Centro, Calif., for return to their country. The group included Mexican nationals who entered the United States Illegally, and others who stayed beyond duration of work contracts in California, he added. All were agricultural workers.

    The crew was identified as Frank Atkinson, 32 years old, of Long Beach, the pilot; Mrs. Bobbie Atkinson, his wife, stewardess, 28; and Marion Ewing of Balboa, copilot, 33. Long Beach airport officials said that Mr. Atkinson, formerly of Rochester, N.Y., had logged more than 1,700 hours flying time as a wartime member of the Air Transport Command. The guard was identified as Frank E. Chaffin of Berkeley.

    The plane, which was chartered from Airline Transport Carriers of Burbank, was southbound from the Oakland airport, when it crashed in view of some 100 road camp workers. Foreman Frank V. Johnson said that it “appeared to explode and a wing fell off” before it plummeted to the ground. A number of those in the plane appeared to jump or fall before the aircraft hit the earth, he added. The wreckage was enveloped in flames when the fuel tanks ignited. Not until the fire died down were rescuers able to get near the plane. By then, there was nothing to be done but to extricate the bodies. The scene of the crash is in the mountains about twenty miles west of Coalinga, seventy-five miles from here in the rough coastal area. (New York Times, Jan 29)”

    Woody Guthrie wrote a song “Deportees”:


    Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye Rosalita

    Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria

    You won’t have your names when you ride the big aeroplane

    All they will call you is, deportees

    The crops are all in and the peaches are rottnin’

    The oranges are piled in their creosote dumps

    They’re flying them back to the Mexican border

    To pay all their money to wade back again

    Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted

    Our work contract’s out and we’ve got to move on

    It’s six hundred miles to the Mexican border

    They chase us like outlaws, like rascals, like thieves

    The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos caynon

    A fireball of lightning, it shook all our hills

    Who are these good people all scattered like dry leaves

    The radio said they were just deportees

    Is this the best way we can harvest our orchards

    Is this the best way we can harvest our crops

    To die like dry leaves and to rot on the topsoil

    And be called by no name except, deportees

    You can hear the song at:

  1. 1 Who Killed the Immigration Bill, and Who Wants It to Come Back? « Trackback on June 13, 2007 at 10:25 pm

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