San Francisco Gray
Panthers healthcare resolution for 2008 National Convention
Solidarity with Immigrants
WHEREAS during periods of high unemployment and assaults
on working families' rights and living standards, there are frequently 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 healthcare to undocumented
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.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Gray Panthers oppose these
developments and legislative proposals, and express solidarity with immigrants
by adopting the following:
- 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.
- Gray Panthers demand full legalization and amnesty
for immigrants, immediate halt to ICE raids, and release of all who are
incarcerated for immigration reasons.
- Gray Panthers opposes measures which criminalize
immigrants, and programs to recruit immigrants into the military or
provide incentives for them to join the military.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Gray Panthers urges its members to participate in
marches or demonstrations for international solidarity between immigrants