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The STRIVE ACT is Corporate Designed Immigration Reform

By Javier Rodriguez April 4, 2007

The debate in the nation on immigration reform is definitely on and the cards are once again stacked. The Gutierrez-Flake STRIVE ACT of 2007 is a corporate monster most of the way. It doesn't come close to meeting the human rights standards set forth by the international community for the more than 200 million migrants in the planet who, by designs of corporate globalization and its rising capitalist transnational class, have been forced to leave their home countries in search of a new life.

On the contrary the new STRIVE ACT, like last year’s failed Sensenbrenner-HR4437 and Hegel-Martinez S2611, will criminalize immigrants, allow enforcement of immigration law by police agencies, calls for more extreme border enforcement, calls for building 20 more detention centers for immigrants, will erode human rights for future deportees and future immigrants, it will impose an employer verification program, it will delay legalization for the 13 million immigrants already here for many years and not surprisingly it does not set realistic standards to resolve the immigration issue period. Overall, if approved, it will further set back the struggle for immigrant empowerment, make present and future immigrant workers more vulnerable to exploitation and drive them further underground.

The international criteria for immigrants set in 1987?, says migrants, within three years of living in the host country, have earned their right to legalize their status. By then, they have established roots in their adopted communities, creating family, children, culture, education, business and religion. This is a sounder humane approach to a real earned right to legalization, to be united with their families and to the stabilization of their lives.

In 1986, through the IRCA Immigration Reform Act, several million urban and farm workers, undocumented immigrants, regularized their status through a radically different set of standards. A one year wait for their permanent residency and five more for citizenship and the right to vote without having to leave the country. The farm worker clause was even more humane with a requirement of only three months of farm work in the previous two years to qualify. It set forth a fee of only $150.00 per applicant. That’s it. It was a family oriented law though far from perfect.

NOW COMPARE. By Cong. Luis Gutierrez own words, under the STRIVE ACT, the legalization part will not be implemented for two years until Congress confirms that the security border enforcement measures of the new law are in place, and then, only then will the legalization process begins. Then after, the first of two three year permits for non immigrant status will be issued with the right to a social security, a drivers license and leave and return to the country. After the sixth year the immigrant will have the right to solicit permanent residency. But instead of an automatic “Green Card” into the hands of the 13 million immigrants, all applicants will be placed in the back of the line for another 5 to 10 years wait, until the applications of 3 million plus potential immigrants now in process, which the STRIVE Bill does not address, are resolved. It does not stop there. An added five year wait to qualify for citizenship and the right to vote, which means, approximately a total 18 to 21 years to exert full earned constitutional rights which all Americans now enjoy under the constitution. Is this a corporate panacea or not?

The proposed house bill also establishes a quota for 450,000 yearly Conditional Workers, a euphemism for the old Guest Workers Program. Conditional Workers will have the right to: two three year working permits with the right to change jobs, to organize, bring their families and children with the right to school, to a drivers license, a social security and lastly, with an existing good moral conduct and no criminal background, the right to legalize. Seductive isn’t it. But like their 13 million immigrant counterparts already in the US, which hypothetically speaking, will be waiting in line for years for the “coveted Green Card” this sector will be highly vulnerable to small and large corporate business misconduct. Admittedly though, on par, the future undocumented sector will be several notches more exploitable.

According to leaks emanating from the Capital in the last two weeks, the Kennedy-McCain Senate proposal will use the same framework of S2611 which died last year. If so, for certain the conciliation process between the House and Senate will be a water down process for the Fable-Gutierrez Bill.

For the immigrant rights movement and allies the central question is “What is to be Done”? Already at the gate in tacit support of this concept is a powerful conglomerate of the most active wing of labor, big business, the Latino establishment, Democrats and Republicans, the church hierarchy, the Mexican and Central American governments and the moderate wing of the immigrant rights movement. And it is well financed with a war chest of $4 million dollars.

The accomplishments of the 2006 mass immigrant struggle are historic. Most notable was energizing the electorate and along with the antiwar sentiment changing the correlation of forces in Congress against the extreme right. Without a doubt President George W. Bush and the Republicans are in a weaker position although his shock troops have launched a near fascist campaign against the country‘s undocumented creating havoc and terror.

At this point, the correlation of forces is absolutely not favorable except that the country’s progressive forces and allies move from traditional lobbying towards mass mobilization in an attempt to gain the upper hand and influence the national debate for a more inclusive pro worker immigration reform. The activists response to the governments ICE raids and deportations campaign has been toe to toe and it appears, has set the conditions for another round of mega mass mobilizations. We shall see if the people respond accordingly again on May 1st International Workers Day in defense of their dignity and humanity. The challenge is as historic as in 2006.

Javier Rodriguez is the media and political strategist for the March 25 Coalition and a co-founder of the May 1st National Movement.
Jrodhdztf@hotmail.com 323-702-6397


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Organizing Centers

    Tuesday, May 1
    5:00 pm - Rally/March - Las Brisas Shopping Center, Blvd. Diaz Ordaz

    Workers Information Center, Cittac
    011-52-664-622-4269 • maquilatijuanasandiego@earthlink.net

    Tuesday, May 1
    8:00 am - Gather SouthGate 3300 S. 6th Ave (6th Ave & 44th St)
    9:00 am - March to Downtown Tucson
    12:00 pm - Rally at Armory Park 220 S 5th Ave

    Tucson May 1st Coalition
    PO Box 1286
    Tucson AZ 85702
    520-770-1373 • may1@iactucson.org mayday2007.iactucson.org
    Download flyers in Español and English

    Tuesday, May 1
    UC Davis Campus, Memorial Union Patio
    11-12:00 - Rally at MU patio with musicians and performers
    11:30 am - Solidarity Walk Out. Congregate at MU patio
    12:00 pm - March

    Davis Students Against War Resource

    Los Angeles
    Tuesday, May 1
    12:00 pm - March at the beginning of Olympic & Broadway

    National May 1st Movement for Worker & Immigrant Rights
    5274 West Pico Blvd. #203
    Los Angeles CA 90019
    Download flyers in Español and English

    Tuesday, May 1
    10:00 am - Rally - Corner of Crows Landing & Hatch Rds.

    Download flyers in Español/English

    Tuesday, May 1
    5-8:30 pm - corner of 2nd St. and Highway 74


    San Diego
    Tuesday, May 1
    3:00pm - March/Rally - Corner of Park and A

    Si Se Puede Coalition
    619-309-7435 • davidschmidt2003@hotmail.com

    San Francisco
    Tuesday, May 1
    12:00 pm - Dolores Park in the Mission District
    1:00 pm - Grand March for Unconditional Amnesty to the Civic Center

    Movimiento Por Una Amnistia Incondicional/Movement for an Unconditional Amnesty

    San Francisco
    Tuesday, May 1
    7-9:00 pm - Mission & 24th Streets - Candlelight Vigil for Unconditional & General Amnesty

    Barrio Unido

    Tuesday, May 1
    10:00 am - Lincoln Park

    Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC)
    1212 Mariposa St; Suite 5
    Denver, CO 80204
    303.893.3500 • julien@coloradoimmigrant.org www.coloradoimmigrant.org

    Tuesday, May 1
    10:00 AM – Plantón/Rally – Union Park [Ashland Ave. and Washington St.]
    12:00 PM – Marcha/March – Randolph St., Desplaines St., Jackson Blvd., Columbus Dr.
    2:00 PM – Plantón/Rally – Grant Park [Balbo Dr. and Columbus Dr.]

    March 10th Movement
    1638 S. Blue Island Ave
    Chicago, IL 60608

    Tuesday May 1

    5-7:00 pm - Rally/March - Gene Snyder Courthouse to Jefferson Park

    The Kentucky May Day Coalition
    Download flyers in Español and English

    Tuesday May 1

    4:00 pm - Rally/March - Boston Common

    Boston May Day Coalition
    617.290.5614 • info@bostonmayday.org

    Tuesday May 1

    2:00 pm - March from Everett City Hall
    3:00 pm - March from Chelsea City Hall
    4:00 pm - Rally in Central Square, East Boston

    Chelsea Collaborative
    300 Broadway Chelsea, MA 02150
    617.889.6080 • mail@chelseacollab.org
    Download flyers in Español/English

    Tuesday May 1 - Time/Place - TBD

    Latinos Unidos/United de Michigan (LUUM)
    Rosendo Delgado - 313.887.1849
    Ignacio Meneses - 313.587.9285
    Elena Herrada - 313.974.0501
    Download flyers in Español and English

    Tuesday May 1

    4:00 pm - March - Lake St. & Nicollet St.

    MN Immigrant Rights Action Coalition (MIRAC)
    Download flyers in Español/English
    Download Posters in Español and English

    Las Vegas
    Tuesday May 1

    7:00 pm - US Federal Courthouse, 333 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

    United Coalition for Immigrant Rights
    740 N. Eastern Avenue, Suite 110
    Las Vegas, NV 89101

    New Jersey
    Tuesday May 1

    11:00 am - Warinanco Park
    Mass Meeting

    NJ May 1 Coalition
    973-736-0522 • info@njmay1.org

    New York
    Tuesday May 1
    3:00 pm - McKinley High School on Elmwood Avenue
    Marching to a Speakout at Elmwood and Bidwell
    Car caravan from there to City Hall

    Buffalo/WNY International Action Center

    New York City
    Tuesday May 1
    4:00 pm - Rally & March
    Union Square Park, 14 St. & Broadway
    Marching to Federal Plaza/ Foley Square
    (Site of the African Burial Ground)

    NYC May 1 Coalition
    55 W 17th St.
    New York, NY 10011
    646.291.2778 • www.may1.info>
    Download flyers in Español and English

    North Carolina
    Tuesday May 1

    4:00 pm - Central Ave & The Plaza
    gather in front of the Harris Teeter to show our support for the Justice at Smithfield Campaign being waged by workers.
    The march will end at the vigil called by Communities for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
    6:00 - Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center
    600 E. 4th St., Charlotte, NC 28202
    Contact: Ruben Campillo, (704) 531-3848

    May 1st Charlotte Movement for Workers & Immigrants Rights
    704.492.8527 • may1charlotte@gamil.com

    Tuesday May 1

    5-7:00 pm Rally - State Capitol

    North Carolina Justice Center
    919.856.2178 • dani@ncjustice.org

    Tuesday May 1

    5:00 pm - Rally/March - Allegheny County Jail, 2nd Ave.
    Marching to Mellon Square Park, 6th Ave.

    Pittsburgh Friends of Immigrants

    San Antonio
    Tuesday May 1

    12:00 pm - Rally - Milam Park
    6:00 pm - March

    Southwest Workers Union
    Download flyers in Español/English

    Tuesday May 1

    3:30 pm - March - Miller Park

    Grupo Comunitario por Justicia y Derechos de los Inmigrantes
    509.457.5867 or 509.930.6532

    Tuesday May 1

    12:00pm - Rally/March - Capitol to Brittingham Park

    Union de Trabajadores Inmigrantes
    Immigrant Workers Union
    608.345.9544 or 608.446.3656
    download flyers in Español or English

    Tuesday May 1

    Un Dia Sin Latin@s/A Day Without Latin@s
    Estatal Marcha por Derechos Civiles y Boicot/Statewide Civil Rights March & Boycott
    12:00 pm - Voces de la Frontera, 1027 S. 5th St.

    Voces de la Frontera
    Wisconsin Legalization Coalition
    414.643.1620 • vocesdelafrontera@sbcglobal.net
    download flyers in Español/English


    • Adelberto Central Methodist Church
    • Alianza Nueva Nacion de Guatemala en Los Angeles
    • Angelica Salas, Director - Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los
      Angeles (CHIRLA)
    • Association Tepayac de New York
    • Border Social Forum
    • Boston May Day Coalition
    • California Peace & Freedom Party
    • Centro Obrero, Michigan
    • Chris Silvera, Secretary Treasurer Local 808 Teamsters
    • Comite Pro-Amnistia y Justicia Social
    • Cynthia McKinney, former member of Congress
    • Elvira Arellano in Sanctuary Adalberto Church Chicago
    • Emma Goldman Chapter of SDS/MDS
    • Emma Lozano-Centro Sin Fronteras
    • Fr. Luis Barrios, San Romero de Las Americas Church
    • Frantz Mendes, Pres. USW L. 8751, Boston School Bus Drivers
    • Hermandad Mexicana Nacional-California-Nevada
    • Industrial Workers of the World
    • International Action Center
    • Korea Truth Commission - U.S.
    • Latinos Against War
    • LUUM-Latinos Unidos de Michigan
    • March 25th Coalition LA
    • May 1st Coalition-New York
    • MLK Jr. Bolivarian Circle, Boston
    • Most Rev. Filipe C Teixeira, OFSJC
      Northeastern Diocese of Saint Francis of Assisi, CCA
      Immigration Pastoral Center, Inc Massachusetts
    • Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
    • N.J. Civil Rights Defense Committee
    • NALAAC-National NGO Florida Convention
    • New England Human Rights Organization for Haiti
    • Northern California May 1 Coalition
    • Puerto Rican Alliance
    • San Romero de Las Americas Church-UCC
    • Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas-SME (Mexican Electrical Workers Union)
    • South Asian Network
    • Southwest Workers Union-San Antonio
    • Troops Out Now Coalition
    • Union de Trabajadores Inmigrantes
    • Union of Progressive Iranians
    • United American Indians of New England
    • United Front for Affordable Housing
    • US-Cuba Labor Exchange
    • Workers World Party
    • World Can't Wait

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