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Anti-Immigrant Bill Clears Senate Judiciary Committee

Posted by Newsroom On May - 22 - 2013

The following is a statement by the Moratorium on Deportations Campaign (MDC) on Senate Judiciary members overwhelmingly passing the anti-immigrant bill out of committee

On Tuesday the Anti-Immigrant bill (Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013) cleared the first of several hurdles by a vote of 13-5 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. After long hours of debate over weeks on possible addition of amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee has finally voted the bill out from committee and into to full senate’s floor.

The bill is an innovative and modernized approach to criminalizing immigrants and the poor, increasing border militarization and domestic spy programs, and is falsely advertised as a pathway to citizenship.

Since 9-11, and continuing with the economic crisis, immigrant communities have become scapegoats in a political farce. While the super-rich plunder the country, they distract public attention away from their crimes by using politicians to stir-up a national frenzy around so-called “illegal immigration.” The Anti-Immigrant bill passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday is the most recent attack against immigrant communities. This bill is an escalation of the politics of racist fear and violence, intended to keep immigrants locked into the status of an illegalized underclass while profiting on their labor and on the business of imprisoning them. Meanwhile, US-imposed economic policies abroad continue to displace people and deepen the crisis of forced migration.

This Anti-Immigrant legislation would:

-Funnel 6.5 billion of taxpayer money to fund the genocide of immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border, the increased punishment of people already forced to live in the US without status, and to expand the machinery of a domestic war.

-Intensify the state’s ability to track and spy on all people via the forced implementation of a national E-verify system, a high-tech racial profiling and surveillance program. Tribal governments will be forced to comply with this racist E-verify system.

-Push people who should be recognized as residents into a state of limbo, a new status called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI). RPI promises small benefits, but does not guarantee rights and can be revoked at any time. While RPI is falsely advertised as a “pathway to citizenship,” its real effect will be to create an underclass of stateless people with papers. “Registered” means that some people will be pushed “out of the shadows” and into the sphere of state surveillance and control.

-RPI explicitly excludes poor people, setting minimum income levels for the amount of income someone must make in order to apply. All those who cannot qualify for this false non-status — which includes people with criminal records or those who cannot prove they have been continuously employed — will be exposed to harsher punishment and pushed into an expanding private-for-profit detention industry.

-Undermine efforts to unify families broken apart by enforcement policies against non-citizens. The bill is also an attack on the LGBTQ community, reinforcing definitions of “family” that specifically exclude same-sex couples.

-Provide increased funding to corrupt NGO’s that pretend to work in the interest of immigrant communities; in reality, these organizations would be paid to administer this anti-immigrant policy.

-Expand guest worker programs, which create the conditions for contemporary slave labor. Agricultural workers deserve rights, not a “blue Card” that makes them dependent on corrupt employers and vulnerable to exploitation.

-Increase a climate of racist fear against “brown” immigrants who are especially targeted for repression and enforcement. These are the same people that were displaced, often violently and traumatically, by US interventions in the Americas.

-Further it violates the sovereignty of indigenous nations whose lands have been divided by the border.

This bill continues the politics of violent exclusion that have long targeted indigenous and African American communities. It is also a pathway to an American Apartheid, as the government exerts increasing control over people of color in terms of residence, employment and daily life. It creates new mechanisms for stratifying and classifying immigrants on the basis of socioeconomic privilege and with clear racist connotations. It recreates the oppressive conditions that push people into forced migration in the first place.

We have seen this kind of misinformation orchestrated by politicians before. And once more we are not deceived by the hype around this Anti-Immigrant bill which is being framed as a positive legislation; we are not deceived by politicians who merely want to capitalize on the immigrant vote.

As we have done before, we make a call to all migrant and social justice organizations, activists and communities to mobilize and respond to this racist attack on our communities. We must not accept that politicians can play with the lives of 12 million people who they have purposely made into a vulnerable and terrorized population.

We insist on an immediate end to all deportations and on a total reorganization of immigration and economic policy around principles of justice and dignity for all people.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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