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July 30, 2006

colorado immigration event coming soon

Coloradans For Immigrant Rights Garden Party and Fundraiser—August 14

Come out and support the wonderful work of Coloradans For Immigrant Rights for an evening of great food and great company! VOLLEYBALL, PIZZA AND DRINKS, GIVEAWAYS, T-SHIRTS AND MORE!

For Immigrant Rights to gain support the general public needs to have a better understanding of immigrants’ struggles and contributions. CFIR is a group of volunteers Organizing Citizens to Support Immigrant Rights! Our members have been working tirelessly to change the hearts and minds of Coloradans to see Immigrant Rights as Human Rights for the past two years. They have published dozens of immigrant-positive letters to the editor, organized counter-protests, spoken to community groups about immigrant rights, contacted their legislators, turned out hundreds of allies for immigrant rights actions…the list goes on and on! CFIR always works closely with immigrant led organizations so that we are always in step with our common goals.

Please come and support this exciting project and its important contributions to the Colorado Immigrant Rights Movement! Together, immigrants and their allies will bring about justice for all and create strong, inclusive communities!

AFSC's Backyard
901 W. 14th Ave. Ste. #7, Denver, CO
Monday, August 14, 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Jordan Garcia 303 623-3464

Suggested donation $10-$20

Posted by almamia at 9:27 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2006

can't spell congress without a big con

The U.S. House Republican Conference has a new immigration page on its website.

I found it fascinating that they can't see their nose in front of their face... front and center on their immigration page:

Since 1995, the Republican Congress has dramatically increased spending on border security and immigration enforcement – from $1.2 billion to $12.7 billion – and more than doubled the number of Border Patrol agents, from 5,000 to 12,000. However, despite these improvements, illegal immigrants continue to flood across our borders and make their way into our country. It’s clear that we need a new approach to border security, and that’s exactly what House Republicans are working to provide.

House Republicans want strong border security legislation that the President can sign into law this year. We’re holding hearings and conducting site visits to talk to the people who deal firsthand with the problem of illegal immigration. This is not a time for half measures and band-aids – we are going to take the time to fully address this problem and give the American people the strong border security bill they deserve.

It is what immigration advocates have been saying all along... if any legislation was a failure it was the 1995 border security laws, not the 1986 amnesty laws. Amnesty in fact was a huge success. The 1995 Border Security measure a complete failure. Yet, the GOP insists on increasing those measures as a solution to the current immigration crisis.

First time shame on you. Second time shame on me.

November is coming.

In the meantime, maybe you can get into one of the GOP's upcoming "hearings" announced today. More hustle at taxpayer expense.

The House leadership is no longer trying to disguise their true motives: House Majority Leader John Boehner said, "We believe that these hearings will help strengthen our hand as we negotiate with our counterparts in the Senate and hopefully get a bill to the president some time this year." source

Strengthen our hand. Great. That's so humane.

Posted by almamia at 5:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2006

Yeah! What he said!

A lesson from history -- today in the Washington Post.

...the only way to gain control of the border -- is through reform of the kind championed by President Bush and the Senate that liberalizes our immigration law.

Liberalize to get control? No, it doesn't make sense at first blush. But this is the paradox at the heart of immigration reform. Yes, our existing law is inadequately enforced, both on the border and in the workplace. But one of the main reasons for this endemic failure is that the law itself is so unrealistically strict, so out of sync with our labor needs as to be -- like all unrealistic law -- practically unenforceable.

The best analogy is Prohibition: No matter what enforcement resources we threw at that unrealistic ban, we couldn't make it stick(emphasis mine). But realistic regulation of alcohol use is another matter entirely -- easily achieved with modest means, such as liquor licenses and import duties.

So, too, with immigration. As the law stands now, we admit only about two-thirds of the labor we need to keep our economy growing, and the additional third -- some 400,000 to 500,000 workers a year -- must get here some other way, illegally. No wonder the Border Patrol is overwhelmed.

The logic behind reform is that if you create a legal way for these now-illegal workers to come into the country you'll take the pressure off the border. After all, once we've filled every available job -- every job for which an employer can't find an American worker -- with an authorized immigrant, there should be little incentive for other foreigners to risk their lives making the trip. The bulk of those now coming illegally would enter lawfully and be processed on the way in, while the illegal traffic would slow to a trickle, far more easily turned back by the Border Patrol.

Posted by almamia at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2006

republicans leak immigration spin

I came across this on the Migra Matters blog back in May. I had intended to post it then and somehow got off track. At that time, Duke had linked to a 25 page document of leaked Republican spin on immigration. He then wrote a comprehensive post analyzing the document in detail.

I actually had printed out the leaked document and was intrigued to recognize many of the "words that work" from interviews and articles I'd observed in the national news. It is sad that our politicians are being spoon fed such horrible policy without actually studying the issue themselves. I really hope you will take the time to read the entire document.

Here is an example of some of the leaked Republican "words that work" that I could swear I'd heard on a news interview (but couldn't track down which show):

“We need to say to those who commit crimes: ‘you’re out of here.’ We’re not going to fund you in jail, we’re not going to pay for your food, and we’re not going to allow you to work out on weights. We’re not going to pay for your cable television. You are gone. One strike and you are out of this country. We will deport you within 72 hours, and we will insist that the country of your origin take you and be responsible for you or it will have an impact on the trade we do with that country.”

Posted by almamia at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2006

evangelicals promote illegal immigration

Okay, well maybe it isn't "illegal" technically. They get legitimate visas under a false pretense.

Many evangelical churches and individuals support overseas missionaries who have settled in a country under pretext.

Let's just say that all I've known are now or have been in "Asia"

Without exception they do not receive mailings directly to them, all mail has to be screened. God, Christianity, Bible, etc are taboo words. Emails are encrypted and some have had to write with code words. They give the code to friends prior to leaving their homeland.

The real purpose of the mission is to spread the love of Jesus to nations where doing exactly that is ILLEGAL. Are they being "law-abiding" -- yes and no. But that's okay. And I'm fine with it.

But I'm also fine with the father who comes here out of desperation to feed his family, or the mother who follows him determined to keep the family united.

And that is where my practical theology parts with many evangelicals.

If I am asked to pray for someone who is "coming" to the States, I pray for God's protection over their lives and for the reunification of the family.

Many evangelicals (but not all) are living contradictions. Apparently they believe God's law takes precedent over the law in OTHER countries, just not in this one.

There is a misperception that the U.S. laws are already consistent with God's laws. And I just don't get it.

Posted by almamia at 4:36 PM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2006

a glimmer of hope

I think we need to match up a No More Deaths Volunteer with each member of the Colorado GOP too...
The following article which was published on www.azcentral.com

Desert-rescue tales sway GOP legislator

Apr. 7, 2006 12:00 AM

Rep. Doug Quelland stuck out as he waded through the prayer rally on the lawn of the state Capitol. And not just because of his trademark handlebar mustache.

Quelland, a Republican who represents north Phoenix, has been a reliable vote on "get-tough" immigration measures. His name is listed on several bills this session, including one that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to be charged with felony trespassing and another that seeks to deny them benefits.

They're the kinds of bills the Tuesday rally was designed to protest. The group of religious leaders asked for humane immigration reform.

But there was Quelland, who once stood on the lawn to support anti-undocumented-immigrant legislation, standing on the lawn amid people pleading for sympathy toward border crossers.

Quelland said his position on illegal immigration hasn't changed as much as it has evolved.

"I think it's good intentions," he said of the legislation introduced at the Capitol. "But I would like all the people in the House and the Senate to open dialogue and talk with people. You don't get anything done by staying uninformed."

Quelland's education was partly aided by talks with the woman who was standing next to him. She's the daughter of a longtime family friend he met at church. She was a fair-haired 22-year-old, wearing a bandanna on her head and a long prairie dress. She seemed to be constantly smiling. Her name was Maryada Vallet, and as her T-shirt indicated, she was a volunteer for No More Deaths.

That's the organization that camps out in the Arizona desert during the summer looking to rescue border crossers in distress. Two volunteers from that group are facing federal charges after they drove three undocumented immigrants to get medical attention.

Vallet, who was the class president and homecoming queen at Centennial High School in Peoria, became intensely interested in border issues while at Azusa Pacific University, a private Christian college in California. Upon graduation, she volunteered to work a summer with No More Deaths.

She said her parents were not immediately supportive of her plans, not because they feared for her safety as much as they didn't support the cause. "I had to de-mythicize a lot of this," she said. Her parents, she said, watch a lot of Fox News Network. "A lot of what they thought is what most people think about migrants."

But Vallet tells stories that put a face on the problem. She tells of Lorena, the 22-year-old she met who was crossing into the United States to make enough money to care for her sick son. She tells of Alberto, the corn farmer she found in the harsh Arizona desert. How she gives them water, tends to their blistered feet.

"It's very much like the good Samaritan," she said, referring to one of the parables told by Jesus in the New Testament.

Those tales softened her parents' views, she said. And apparently Quelland's. At least, it's made him take a second look.

"I don't know if my basic beliefs have changed," he said, "but I do know that there's some information out there that everyone should have, and they're just not getting it."

Part of it is faith based. The two share the same religious convictions, and Quelland seemed to get emotional as he heard this young Christian woman speak of her call to help the stranded in the desert.

And as we stood on the Senate lawn, and Vallet spoke of more experiences with No More Deaths, Quelland started openly weeping. "There's your story," he told me, pointing to Vallet. "Make her your story."

It will be a couple of more months before No More Deaths starts its summer saturation of the desert. Until then, the group might do some good by assigning a volunteer to each Republican member of the Arizona Legislature. A rescue mission to cool down their hearts.

Reach Ruelas at (602) 444-8473 or richard.ruelas@arizonarepublic .com.

Here is how we can help No More Deaths:

***Food and First Aid Kits Needed at the Border*** No More Deaths and Coloradans for Immigrant Rights (CFIR) need your help! We must take death out of the migration equation! The number of tragic, migrant deaths in the desert along the Arizona/Mexico border is continually increasing. Coloradans for Immigrant Rights (CFIR) is helping No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes collect the following items to distribute to migrants.

Needed Items:

For each Gallon-Sized Closable Plastic Bag, place 7-10 items, ideally 1 bag contains each of the following items:
„X Sports Drink
„X Pop-top lid meat or tuna
„X Nuts, Trail mix, dried fruit, chips, fig bars, or cookies
„X Granola, Power, or snack bars
„X Pudding or fruit cup (with spoon)
„X Peanut Butter or Cheese filled crackers
For each Small Closable Plastic Bag add the following items:
„X 4 to 8 bandages
„X Gauze Pads
„X Small first aid cream or ointment
„X Alcohol Wipes
„X Sunscreen, Chapstick, Hand Cream or Lotion
„X Foot care creams, powders, or Moleskin
„X Wrapped Candy or throat lozenges
„X Aspirin, Tylenol, or Advil packets

What You Can Do!
1) Create a collection drive for the above materials at your church/organization/job etc.
2) Mail kits directly to No More Deaths, c/o St. Mark¡¦s Presbyterian Church, 3809 East 3rd Street, Tucson, AZ 85716.

Posted by almamia at 9:40 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2006

hatred toward immigrants swells kkk ranks

This in the Rocky Mountain News today:

The International Imperial Wizard of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan said Monday that the immigration debate has boosted membership, including a chapter in Olathe, a town of 1,500 on Colorado's western slope.
Railton Loy, the self-identified International Imperial Wizard, said the Klan chapter in Olathe was formed about four years ago and invited him to speak at an anti-immigration rally on the Montrose County Courthouse steps about a year and a half ago. He said the chapter was small and couldn't raise enough money to pay his expenses, so he put off the trip.

"It's just a little klavern," he said.

To form a klavern, or KKK chapter, at least 15 members are required, he said.

Olathe Mayor Wayne Blair said the town heard about the klan chapter last month, but hasn't been able to identify a single member although the group does have a post office box in town.

The KKK website has a map with chapters around the country, including one in Olathe. source

Posted by almamia at 9:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 9, 2006

political tantrums: the advanced course

I've been holding my breath ever since Colorado's special legislative session began this past Thursday. Thankfully most of the awful measures have been killed by this point. News which is less than pleasing to the Colorado GOP and Governor Owens in particular.

Seems to me that somewhere in my fuzzy educational past I recall a concept called the balance of powers. legislative, executive and judicial (proud mom?). Well, Governor Owens seems to think this concept shouldn't affect him, which is why he called the special session to begin with... he (executive) didn't like the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court (judicial) on a flawed ballot measure that was likely unconstitutional and would certainly have been in the courts for years to come. Now, the Colorado House and Senate (legislative) have decided not to send the measure to the ballot, so Owens is throwing his weight around. Again. Thankfully, most of the Democrats are having none of it. (Although they are playing dirty too).

I like how House Speaker Andrew Romanoff described the original ballot measure, "... this is designed to fix a problem you can't explain by subjecting services you can't define to a ban you can't enforce," Romanoff said, "and then putting that unworkable formula into the constitution and inviting everyone in state to sue us when it doesn't work."

Exactly why I and all thinking people opposed it.

More for amusement than anything, read an article from today's Denver Post describing the tantruming in greater detail:

Republican Gov. Bill Owens launched a surprise attack Saturday on a Democratic plan to curtail spending on illegal immigrants, capping a tense day of stalled negotiations and bitter debate at the Capitol.

The governor blasted the proposal as an "ineffectual" alternative to the citizen-sponsored initiative that was knocked off the November ballot last month by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Owens made his comments to a Senate committee just hours after the Democratic-controlled House passed the bill on straight party lines after occasionally raucous debate.

Owens, who rarely testifies at committee hearings, used his bully pulpit to remind lawmakers he will only sign substantive, not symbolic, legislation that comes out of the special session he called on immigration reform.

House Bill 1023 fails to meet that test, he said, because it does not include a list of banned services, nor does it have a strong way to enforce the ban.


Senate President Joan Fitz- Gerald, D-Jefferson County, who was presenting the bill to the Senate Business Affairs Committee, said she was frustrated by the governor's tactics.

"I thought I had your support on this," Fitz-Gerald said. "It's surprising to me I do not."

Her staff, along with House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, had been negotiating Friday night and Saturday with the governor's office on the bill.

The committee, which had delayed its starting time by an hour so the parties could continue negotiating, approved the bill Saturday on a 4-3 party-line vote. The full Senate, which had expected to debate the bill Saturday, postponed discussion until today.


Saturday's cantankerous exchange hit a sore spot for Grossman and many other lawmakers.

"It's so emblematic of this whole special session," Grossman said, "inserting ourselves into areas where we have no constitutional authority, absolutely no experience and no data."


Owens' attack came several hours after a bitter debate in the House, which voted 35-28 to send the bill to the Senate.

Rep. Ted Harvey, R- Highlands Ranch, was jeered by Democrats during his speech.

"Now are we going to be a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants under the age of 18?" Harvey said. "We have a huge gang problem in the state of Colorado with people from Mexico coming up here and influencing our cities."

Rep. Mike Merrifield, D- Manitou Springs, roared: "Racist! Bigot!" While Rep. Dorothy Butcher, D-Pueblo, jumped to her feet and said: "Take him out!"

Posted by almamia at 8:46 AM | Comments (1)