of San Francisco
WHEREAS periods of high unemployment and assaults on working families' rights and living standards are frequently accompanied by attacks on immigrants, which accuse them of stealing jobs, overburdening social programs, and threatening security. These attacks, often couched in racist rhetoric, call for more secure borders, rounding up of immigrants, and withholding public protections and services.
WHEREAS recent examples of this are sweeps of ICE raids that terrorize entire neighborhoods and split families, attacks on Day Labor Centers by racist groups, and the government's willingness to deny Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of poor US citizens through impossible documentation requirements that were put in place to deny undocumented immigrants of healthcare.
WHEREAS business groups and corporations want a large supply of very low-wage immigrant labor in a temporary “guest worker” status where they are too vulnerable to form unions or otherwise resist their special exploitation, similar to the hated “bracero” program of the 1950s.
For these reasons, Gray Panthers oppose these developments and legislative proposals. We express solidarity with immigrants by adopting the following resolutions, and urge our members to help implement them by talking with friends, writing letters, and attending rallies and demonstrations:
Resolution # 1. Gray Panthers affirms the rights of all persons, whether citizen or immigrant, to protections of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, due process, as well as equal access to public resources. We support the redirection of the nation's resources toward the building of a healthy society for all members, wherever they are from and wherever they are.
Resolution #2. Gray Panthers demand full legalization and amnesty for immigrants, immediate halt to ICE raids, and release of all who are incarcerated for immigration reasons.
Resolution #3. Gray Panthers opposes measures which criminalize immigrants, and programs to recruit immigrants into the military or provide incentives for them to join the military.
Resolution #4. Gray Panthers opposes immigration policies such as “guest worker” programs, which create new categories of immigrant workers who are more vulnerable to economic exploitation by virtue of their temporary or conditional legality.
Resolution #5. Gray Panthers supports a living wage and dignified and safe working conditions for all workers, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. This protects both citizen and immigrant workers.
Resolution #6. Gray Panthers supports local and regional efforts of unions to organize workforce sectors with high concentrations of immigrants along the above principles, regardless of their documentation status and whether or not their jobs are temporary.
Resolution #7. Gray Panthers opposes free trade policies such as NAFTA and CAFTA, which create poverty abroad, drive immigrants into the US, and create unemployment, and which reduce wages and working conditions in this country.
Resolution #8. Gray Panthers urges its members to participate in marches or demonstrations for international solidarity between immigrants and citizens.
See pictures of the gigantic May 1, 2006 Worker and Immigrants Rights march.