As a follow up to my post about American Apparel having little choice but to comply with the Obama administration’s order forcing employers to fire undocumented workers, I want to call attention to Tim Rutten’s opinion column in today’s LA Times.
Rutten speaks to the questionable humanity of the new procedure to deal with illegal immigration that will do nothing to provide the underlying necessity, an overhaul of immigration policy. In fact, as the new procedure eliminates the raids and deportations of the past, it will add to an ongoing one: unscrupulous companies that will hire, underpay, overwork and mistreat displaced workers to save a buck.
The administration seems to be choosing the lesser of two evils here, allowing undocumented workers to remain in the US, assumedly so they can act on getting legal, rather than deportation. In the interim, they will have to deal with finding a way to survive and support their families.
Rutten quotes one of the fired American Apparel’s workers here in Los Angeles who says he will “go back to one of those sweatshops where I’m going to have to get paid under the table.”
There will still be those of the Neanderthal “too bad–should have stayed in Mexico” mindset who will remain unmoved, but if they take the time to read Rutten’s column, at least they can’t say they never were confronted by the concept of compassion and its glaring necessity as a component of reform.
An immigration reform rally in Los Angeles and more than 40 other locations nationwide on Monday addressed immigration rights for gay couples, although that information didn’t make it into this piece in the LA Times about the event.
And if you want to see the anti-gay marriage crowd’s feigning that civil unions provide all of the benefits of marriage fall away, take a look at this article on Politico about gay partner language when it comes to immigration reform. A bill is being introduced in the US Congress would include the term “permanent partner” to sections of immigration law that pertain to married couples.
All of the right wing’s subterfuge about “civil unions are enough, just don’t call it marriage” flies out the window.
The chasm inside the immigrant rights community has led the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — a major partner in the drive for expanded immigrant rights — to withdraw its support from a House bill to be filed Thursday that would speed up reunification of immigrants with their families.
Including the same-sex provision in the family reunification bill “would erode the institution of marriage and family by according marriagelike immigration benefits to same-sex relationships, a position that is contrary to the very nature of marriage, which pre-dates the church and the state,” the bishops said in a letter to Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.).
“The last thing the immigration debate needs is another politically divisive issue,” said Kevin Appleby, the bishops’ director of migration and refugee policy.
Another major ally, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, called the efforts to slip gay rights into the immigration debate a “slap in the face to those of us who have fought for years for immigration reform.”
Honda represents California’s 15th congressional district in Santa Clara County, the location of Cupertino, Apple Computer’s headquarters city. He’s been a long time advocate for the gay/bi/trans community.
Shepard Fairey has designed a series of screen prints that will be sold to raise money for materials for May Day marches and immigration reform organizations.
Collaborating with Ernesto Yerena, an Obey associate, and with the support of Zack De La Rocha of Producciones Cimarron, an East LA-based independent multimedia organization dedicated to helping immigrants form a supportive community and lobby for humane and sensible legislative solutions, Fairey made two images based on Yerena’s photographs of the historic May Day march in 2006.
Editions of 450 screen prints measuring 18″x24″ will go on sale for $45 each on Thursday, April 30th at noon at Cimarrones.org.
Both Obey.com and Cimarrones.org have free downloadable versions of each poster available “to spread the word and post the images in windows, on street poles, offices, and wherever you think the message will reach people.”