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Call-in day tells MN politicians: We demand genuine, progressive immigration reform

By staff

Minneapolis, MN – As the struggle over immigration reform looms in Washington D.C., immigrant rights activists in Minnesota are pressing their senators and representatives to support genuine, progressive immigration reform. Activists are telling lawmakers to not compromise with anti-immigrant politicians, who will try to include repressive measures in immigration reform legislation. On Jan. 16, the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) organized a call-in day targeting Senator Al Franken and Representative Keith Ellison. In addition to calling, people also sent messages to the politicians on their websites and tweeted a common message to them.

The call-in day message to the politicians said, “I want you to push for genuine, progressive immigration reform that consists of: (1) Legalization for all – we don’t want a restrictive or punitive approach; (2) No second-class guest worker programs – full legalization with full equality for immigrant workers; (3) No more militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border – the border is already too militarized leading to too many deaths; and (4) No increased workplace repression – everyone should have the right to work with dignity and labor rights. Programs like E-Verify should be abolished, not expanded.”

MIRAc’s explanation for the call-in day read, “Congressional Democrats and the White House have announced that they plan to push a national comprehensive immigration reform bill in the new congressional session that starts this month. On issue after issue, we’ve seen the White House and Congressional Democrats too quick to abandon progressive proposals and give in to conservative bullying. So ideas that start out progressive (like health care reform for example) go through a legislative process that tears out any progressive content and stuffs it full of pro-corporate and repressive ideas. The final product comes out on the other end as at best mediocre or at worst as regressive, counterproductive laws. We don’t want this to happen to immigration reform. We want genuine, progressive immigration reform. So we are asking Minnesotans to start contacting Senator Franken and Rep. Ellison on Wednesday, January 16. Tell them you want them to take leadership to stand up for genuine, progressive immigration reform, and you want them to say no to pro-corporate or repressive proposals that some politicians will try to make part of immigration reform.”

MIRAc member Brad Sigal said, “I think our call-in day was a success and now we’ll continue to build momentum with other actions. We encourage people in other states to also start now to demand that their congresspeople stand up for genuine, progressive immigration reform and to demand that they refuse to compromise with the repressive anti-immigrant measures that some politicians will try to make part of immigration reform. The time is now to raise our voices.”

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