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Vol. 72/No. 6      February 11, 2008

SWP candidates join Houston immigrant rights event
HOUSTON—Candidates and supporters of the Socialist Workers Party campaign participated in the January 18-20 conference of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights here, and found a receptive audience.

“None of the presidential candidates offers much for immigrants,” said Gilbert Lopez, a Michigan State University student. “They all are for more migra or employer sanctions.”

“That’s true for the Democrats and Republicans, the big-business candidates,” replied Anthony Dutrow, the SWP candidate for Texas House District 138. “But Róger Calero, the Socialist Workers presidential candidate, is today addressing an immigrant rights conference in Indianapolis. He has been involved for years in the fight to stop deportations and police raids and for the legalization of all undocumented workers.”

Dutrow showed a group of Michigan students a photo of Calero with his fellow inmates at the federal immigration prison in Houston where he was jailed in 2002. Dutrow explained that a national campaign helped win Calero’s release and gave an example of how to wage a successful fight for immigrant rights. One of the students subscribed to the Militant to find out more about the campaign.

Along with Dutrow, the Socialist Workers Party candidates in Texas are Jacquie Henderson for U.S. Senate, Amanda Ulman for U.S. Congress in the 9th District, and Steve Warshell for U.S. Congress in the 18th District.

A member of a Mississippi group called Mpower also stopped to get information about the socialist campaign and offered to help out. “Many of us are poultry workers and are busy fighting companies like Tyson Foods every day!” he said. As it turned out, three of the socialist campaigners were meat packers and exchanged experiences with him. “I can help get Calero on the ballot in Mississippi,” the Mpower activist said.

Michael Sadighi, a student from the University of Texas in Austin, helped campaign at the conference and left with 10 copies of the SWP campaign platform to begin building support for the socialist candidates in his area.

“The whole debate on immigration reform is going the wrong way,” said Gabriela Alcazar from Michigan. “It’s not easy to see where the Democratic candidates differ from each other, and sometimes it’s hard to see where they differ from the Republicans. I had thought [Democrat Dennis] Kucinich was better, now I’m not sure.”

Paula Lau from San Francisco noted that the Socialist Workers campaign supports legalization of all immigrants and expressed her agreement. “It’s good to see people who aren’t willing to sell their principles for votes. The last debate I saw, the Republican candidates made ‘amnesty’ out like a dirty word.”
Related articles:
Socialist candidate: union victory at Dakota is example
Calero joins with meat packers in Twin Cities
Socialist candidate Kennedy brings campaign to longshore, other workers in Miami area
Immigrant rights groups: ‘Stop deportations’
Canada vigil protests gov’t deportation moves  
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