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Vol. 72/No. 12      March 24, 2008

Immigrant workers plan
May 1 march in Houston
(front page)
HOUSTONMore than 70 working people attended a March 8 informational meeting here to plan for a May Day action for legalization of immigrants. The meeting also discussed a new attack on immigrants called the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act now pending before Congress.

A March and Rally for the Respect, Dignity, and Rights for all Immigrants is planned for downtown Houston at 2 p.m. on May 1, meeting at the Federal Building. May Day actions have been called around the country as part of “el súper jueves para los inmigrantes (Super Thursday for immigrants).

“Many people have told me that it’s the May Day 2006 and 2007 marches that caused the racists like the Minutemen to mobilize,” Teodoro Aguiluz, director of the Central American Resource Center, told the meeting. “But it’s just the opposite. These anti-immigrant groups were organizing long before then. In fact, it was our marches that put a stop to the Sensenbrenner bill which would have criminalized almost all of us,” he said, referring to a law that would have made it a federal offense to aid undocumented workers.

“The situation now for immigrants is a real mess now, especially with local police now doing the work of the migra,” said Aguiluz. “If you forget your license, you just hope you don’t get stopped because before you know it you’ll be trying to get out of jail. With new laws being written in Congress, cities will not get federal funds if they don’t cooperate with the ICE,” he said, referring to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The meeting began with a celebration of International Women’s Day and a presentation by Olivia Espinosa, head of a new women’s organization Sisterhood Association Giving Love to Their Own (HADAS). Espinosa also promoted the demonstration. In addition, Aura Espinosa from Immigrant Families and Students in the Struggle (FIEL), and María Jiménez from América para Todos (America for All) spoke to the group urging action in defense of immigrant workers.

Those present grabbed up posters and more than 20,000 cards building the march. Leafleting teams will get out the news about the demonstration in working-class neighborhoods and churches. Another information meeting is planned for the southwest area of Houston March 18.

The meeting was covered extensively by Channel 45, one of the major Houston TV stations broadcasting in Spanish.
Related articles:
Chicago conference plans actions for legalization
Workers in Virginia protest bill empowering local cops to enforce federal immigration law  
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