suenoamericano.jpgYou might be aware that congress is about to bring up another immigration bill to a vote in the next few days.  The right wing racists are certainly aware, and they're flooding the phone lines of their knuckle dragging, slope headed representatives to ensure that anything that might allow any justice or humanity for the pigmented among us is stricken from the bill.  We need to provide a counterweight to keep democrats from issuing nice speeches on the floor before caving on important principles when push comes to shove before passing a bill.  That's where you come in.

This is not a perfect bill.  It contains some crap to put together some kind of bipartisan consensus.  Whatever.  But here's where we need to let democrats know we're paying attention, because whatever happens with this bill, the current fight sets up our future fights on behalf of the most vulnerable families and working people among us:

The bill is anti-family.  It seeks to give advantage for certain classes of skilled labor as potential legal entrants to the country while failing to preserve the family protections in current policy.  Right now, immigration policy seeks to protect and preserve families by giving entry preference to siblings, children and parents.  It's been this way for a long time in U. S. policy, but this bill fails to protect and preserve family protections.  We've already seen how the right wing has no compunctions about putting families and children in 21st century American prison camps.   This bill continues to target families for oppression.  Democrats need to insert into this bill clear language that preserves the family infrastructure protections of current immigration policy.  We're watching.

The bill includes important worker protections.  Without getting too wonky about this, current immigration law makes aspiring citizens extremely vulnerable to the whims of their employers, who can effectively exploit them if they choose. This bill includes some protections for workers so that their rights and protections are portable from one employer to another.  This is really important, and represents a step up from current policy.  The right wing racist xenophobes are fighting tooth and nail to keep this out, not only because it provides some justice to brown people, but also because it helps advance the cause of working people across the national spectrum in some incremental way.  Can't have that!  Democrats who have already been caving in on the current undisclosed, super secret trade bill may be tempted to "compromise" on these protections.  They'd better not.  We're watching.  The new worker portability protections in this bill must be preserved.

The bill creates a permanent underclass of exploitable labor.  Follow me here:  this bill includes a really screwed up, fantasy land, will never work kind of path to citizenship for immigrants.  It allows for a very complicated application process whereby people can work here as temporary workers for a couple of years, then they have to go back home, then they can maybe come back and apply for visas, etc.  It's totally unrealistic, and in reality, it will create a permanent underclass of people in citizenship limbo, ripe for exploitation, forever unable to achieve the American dream yours and my ancestors did.  It makes the U. S. a kind of ancient Roman republic filled with citizens and un-citizens who live to fight our wars, do our dirty work and feel the sting of society's lash.  No damned good.  But the right wing calls any path to citizenship provisions "amnesty," which is inaccurate.  The last person to propose, and even implement, any kind of "amnesty" was their own sainted Ronald Reagan, but whatever.  Congress needs to preserve the principle of creating a pathway to citizenship for those who work hard and play by the rules, without creating a permanent "temporary worker" underclass, who collectively make it harder for other worker Americans to take a step up in life.  We're watching.

We need to contact members of congress to provide some counterweight to the right wing racists lobbying to preserve Western civilization stand up as white supremacists for white males afraid of the mulatto mongrelization of Amurka.  Please use this site to get the contact information for your representatives in congress, and do it now.  Use the italicized text above to tell your representative or their staffers what you want them to do.

Thanks for helping out!  I know it's Friday, but staffers need to know before the weekend starts that we're paying attention as they make their plans for next week's battles.

PS:  Ezra Klein has opened up another discussion of this imperfect bill at TAPPED.  See also Howie Klein.  Heh.  Klein-squared (they're not related)!

UPDATE:  One thing to keep in mind with this bill is we've now got legalization for 12 million people on the table.  That's a big deal, and lawmakers should be encouraged to fight for that principle as well.  Please include that in your comments when you make phone calls!

UPDATE II: I want to welcome the right wingers who have joined us in the comments to fight against the sensible inclusion of brown people in our society. I want to congratulate them, because it usually takes them another thirty minutes to make it to the comments on posts like this.  For a refresher on their thinking, check out this one from last Christmas.



Pachacutec did not, as is commonly believed, die in 1471. To escape the tragic sight of his successors screwing up the Inca Empire he’d built, he fled east into the Amazon rain forest, where he began chewing lots of funky roots to get higher than Hunter Thompson ever dared. Oddly, these roots gave him not only a killer buzz, but also prolonged his life beyond what any other mortal has known, excluding Novakula. Whatever his doubts of the utility of living long enough to see old friends pop up in museums as mummies, or witness the bizarrely compelling spectacle of Katherine Harris, he’s learned a thing or two along the way. For one thing, he’s learned the importance of not letting morons run a country, having watched the Inca Empire suffer many civil wars requiring the eventual ruler to gain support from the priests and the national military. He now works during fleeting sober moments to build a vibrant progressive movement sufficiently strong and sustainable to drive a pointed stake through the heart of American “conservatism” forever. He enjoys a gay marriage, classic jazz and roots for the New York Mets.