A project of the Center for Community Change

Pleading to stay a family

If it is legal to rip families apart and orphan US citizen children, then the law needs to be changed.


Pleading to Stay a Family
Raids on Illegal Immigrants Have Their U.S.-Born Children Fearing Separation — and Some Are Lobbying Capitol Hill
By N.C. Aizenman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 2, 2007; A01

As the government’s crackdown on illegal immigrant workers has intensified in recent months, so have the consequences for a large subgroup of U.S. citizens: American-born children of illegal immigrants.

Numbering at least 3.1 million, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute and the Pew Hispanic Center, such children range from teenagers steeped in iTunes and MySpace to toddlers just learning their ABCs.

Until recently, their parents’ illegal status had limited impact on these children’s lives, because, although every year hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are detained attempting to cross the U.S. border, once they make it in, they are rarely caught.

But the increase in raids against companies employing illegal workers is beginning to change that.

In December, immigration agents descended on six meat-processing plants belonging to Swift & Co. and arrested 1,297 illegal workers. At one plant, in Worthington, Minn., the workers had at least 360...

NY faith leaders seek CIR


Advocates seek immigration reform
By: Robert Cristo , The Record

ALBANY – Religious, labor and community leaders gathered Thursday to rally support for a bi-partisan immigration reform bill they believe is humane, protects the U.S. borders and continues the American tradition of being a land of opportunity for all.
The diverse group of immigration reform advocates gathered in front of the Westminster Presbyterian Church on State Street to back the Strive Act, a bi-partisan bill introduced Thursday by Congressmen Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.
“It’s light years ahead of the bill that was introduced last year that went nowhere,” said Dick Dana, president of ARISE, a faith-based community organizing group. “We are encouraged that this bill can solve some of the problems with immigration that has been going on for many years.”
Supporters of the bill labeled it “tough and fair” when it comes to protecting U.S. security, strengthening the economy and treating illegal immigrants fairly and humanely....

On building the movement…

Remarks of Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director, Center for Community ChangetoSouth Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT)March 17, 2007 


It is an honor to be here.  I am profoundly excited by organizing in South Asian communities represented in this room, the work of SAALT and the leadership it and Deepa Iyer are providing. Last night at the reception as I fought my way to the table with all the delicious food, I knew I was in a gathering of South Asians, who are always very clear about our priorities, food first among them.  It felt like home –and I mean that literally. 

I was asked to talk about “movement building” and I thought I would use the immigrant rights movement which I’ve been part of, like many in this room, as a case study.  This movement is the most important development in American politics in many years, and though it is poorly understood by many progressives, I think it has great potential to galvanize a broader...

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