Gray Panthers of San Francisco
May, 2006 Newsletter

A Civil Rights Movement


House bill 4437 with its outrageous intent to criminalize undocumented workers and penalize any persons or organizations helping them has spawned a united movement across the country— Chicago, New York, Phoenix, Tucson, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Dallas, at least one million people in Los Angeles. They represented Mexican migrant workers, Latin, Asian, African American communities, European immigrant communities, and their supporters. They called for an end to borders and fences and amnesty for all. For many cities, these were the largest demonstrations ever. For all who have chafed under the current repressive administration, seeking ways to unite, this movement represents the possibility of breaking the current stranglehold.

Thousands of students here and in cities across the nation left schools to join marches in the streets and experience a real civics lesson. Marches and rallies in San Francisco were mainly organized and led by youth. As the Gray Panthers walked up to the gathering outside of Senator Feinstein’s office with their banner, loud cheers erupted from the chanting crowd.

House bill 4437 is obviously discriminatory legislation. Yet, compromises and bills in the Senate are also not solutions. Until people whose lives are affected by any legislation sit at the decision making table, there is no just solution. These repressive rules are directed primarily against Mexican immigrants. Until we repeal trade treaties like NAFTA, CAFTA and GATT, people will be forced to come here seeking jobs lost in their countries under these unfair trade agreements.

More information on May 1

HR 2092, NOT HR 4437

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee introduced a bill in 2005 that would allow legal permanent residency for undocumented immigrants living in the United States for the past five years, double the cap for family visas and increase the number of work visas. Unlike 4437, this bill has had absolutely no hearing. It has been stalled in committee since mid-2005, despite 24 co-sponsors. We need to urge our representatives to give it a full hearing.

See webpage on Gray Panthers at recent immigrant rights marches in San Francisco.

Read Proposed SF Gray Panther Position on Immigration

(back to May 2006 Newsletter front page)