On Monday, April 10, 2006, history was made across cities in the U.S.
What was wonderful to watch about this was that people of all ages, backgrounds. colors and religions united to voice their outrage at the passage by Congress of HR 4437, Anti-Terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. The bill has passed the House of representatives, and now must pass the U.S. Senate to become law.
The bill criminalizes undocumented immigrants as felons. It expands the definition of smuggling to include those who "knowingly" relate with them such as, family, neighbors, clergy, teachers and businesses. This may mean you. Local police agencies would be drawn into enforcing these provisions. They are already overworked from combating other crimes. They don't want this bill to pass either.
If within your circle of friends and family there are any immigrants, they are in danger of being
convicted of a felony (serve a minimum of 1 year in jail), no matter how long they've been in the U.S. This could send your friends, parents, other family members and their spouses to jail, in addition to undocumented immigrants being deported.
The next Day of Action against HR 4437 will be on Monday, May 1st, 2006. Many students participated in walkouts at schools, or refused to eat their lunch in protest of this bill on April 10. We ask that for Monday May 1st, 2006, students from all schools across the country stay home in protest, so that they don't have to walk out of their schools, and put themselves in physical or legal danger. Many school doors were chained shut on April 10.
Our hope is to wake-up the masses of people, especially youth to get involved in this issue, before it's too late. The madness of this bill must be stopped. It must not be allowed to pass.
The students in France protested against a bill that would be an injustice to them and allow them to be fired without cause for the 1st 2 years they worked. They protested for weeks, until finally, the Prime Minister and their legislatures reversed the bill, from the intense pressure. Youth can have great power, even the power to reverse an unfair law that was passed to benefit employers, but to the detriment of youth.
If there is a march in your city on May 1st, 2006, go to the march and experience it for yourself. I promise you that it will be an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. Wear your school shirts, your dance uniforms, cheerleading outfits, your swimsuits, etc. as a group so that you all stand out in the crowd. Show everyone the beauty of youth in action.
Don't be afraid. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. (FDR)
To quote Dr. Martin Luther King: Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Dare to make a difference, it will make you feel proud.
For video of the March against HR4437 that occurred in San Antonio, Tx, click on this link on the website for Michaelverdi.com. We hope to post more video on this march soon. You will see Executive Producer for 411 Productions Patsy Robles Benitez and Journalist Barbara Renaud Gonzalez with their commentary on the march. But watch for all the youth that were there that day, and dared to get involved. They have been awakened and motivated to defend their friends and family on this important issue.