San Francisco Board of Supervisors' Vote for
Immigrant Rights Resolution Is Unanimous
Posted from Hermandad Mexicana.
Posted from Hermandad Mexicana.
By ALAN BENJAMIN
JAN. 29 -- Yesterday afternoon, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution that calls upon President Obama to (1) stop the deportations, (2) extend DACA [Deferred Action] to all undocumented immigrants, and (3) end the firings of undocumented immigrants by means of I-9 audits, E-Verify and employers' sanctions. The resolution -- which was initially adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council -- was introduced by Supervisors David Chiu, David Campos and Scott Wiener.
Earlier in the day, the San Francisco Labor Council and numerous immigrant rights and community-based organizations in the city held a rally / press conference on the steps of City Hall to convey the urgency of approving this resolution. Speaker after speaker decried the more than 2 million deportations under Obama and the tens of thousands of workers fired -- with their families torn apart -- because of lack of papers.
Rally chair Olga Miranda, president of SEIU Local 87 (Janitors Union) and secretary-treasurer of the San Francisco Labor Council, quoted Los Angeles Council member Gil Cedillo, who, at a luncheon the day before hosted by Local 87, took strong issue with Obama for being the main deporter of immigrants in the nation's history, stating, "How can Obama claim to support the DREAMers, when he is deporting their mothers and fathers?"
Rally speakers included workers who had been fired from their jobs under E-Verify, two young DREAMers [see statement below by Itzel], representatives from community organizations, members of the clergy, and Supervisors Chiu and Campos [see attached photo of Supervisor David Campos addressing the mid-day rally].
All speakers underscored the importance of adopting this resolution and sending a resounding message to Washington that working people and their organizations in San Francisco and across the country will not stand by idly while Obama continues to deport and separate families, and while workers everywhere are fired from their jobs for lack of papers.
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Statement by Itzel (Undocumented Student) to the SF Bd of Supervisors on January 28, 2014
[Note: Itzel is a DREAMer who benefited from DACA. But as a low-income student who finished high school out of state, she does not qualify for in-state tuition at City College of San Francisco, where she has completed two semesters of study. This semester Itzel was not able to register for classes. The college's new payment policy requires that all students pay the coming semester's tuition up front -- as opposed to throughout the semester -- which for Itzel means coming up with $3,000 to register for her third semester, something that is way beyond her and her family's means. Student activists at CCSF are mobilizing to fight the payment policy and to demand that the college and the city make available scholarships for low-income students like Itzel.]
Good afternoon, my name is Itzel and I am an undocumented immigrant.
I came to the United States when I was 4 years old along with my mother and younger brother to meet up with my father in California. It was not easy growing up with two working parents, I had to take care of my brother at an age when I could barely take care of myself.
Years would go by where we'd see my dad for only 30 minutes a day. He would come home to eat and leave for his second job. We were not able to spend time together like most families do. The same goes for thousands of families across the country.
My father works for a water-proofing company in the city and has to go in through the back door of the building he's working in because he doesn't have an I.D. to show at the front door.
By extending DACA to undocumented immigrants while Congress figures a out a real solution that will benefit this community would be a start to ending this harsh reality that many seem to ignore. It would grant temporary relief to those who have always been living in the shadows.
However, I stand here today happy that the San Francisco community supports undocumented families. I strongly support the resolution submitted by the Supervisors to urge President Obama to stop the deportations, extend the DACA program and eliminate the I-9 audits.