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Worcester Immigrant Coalition » What We Stand For and Why

What We Stand For and Why

1. Support local and national efforts to stop the raids and criminalization of the immigrant community

At this moment, undocumented immigrants are being rounded up in their working stations, locked up in private-owned prisons, and unjustly prosecuted as criminals. They are being rushed into improvised court rooms with little access to lawyers and family members. They are being prosecuted for seeking a better life. Immigrants do not overstay their visas for criminal proposes. They came here to find work, to make a living and feed their families. The current policies carried out by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Immigration and Costumes Enforcement (ICE) are spreading fear in our communities and increasing the militarization of the U.S. and Mexico border that “have produced unprecedented human rights violations in immigrant and refugees communities”.

The Worcester Immigrant Coalition, and its allies in Massachusetts and in the United States, will keep working for justice to immigrant people. According to David Bacon, the author of the bestseller “Illegal People”, nearly 350,000 people have been deported. Families have been destroyed and immigrants in hospital beds are being forced out of this nation that they helped to build through hard work. We — immigrants and our U.S. citizen allies — object this situation and pledge the support of the City of Worcester to denounce this human rights abuse. Harassment and repression against workers are not part of our community values.

2. Support a Fair Immigration System Reform and Honor Human Rights of Immigrant Families

Immigrants too helped to elect Barack Hussein Obama. Newly sworn U.S citizens voted in large numbers to elect the first black President of the United States of America. The new Obama administration will be held accountable for a fair immigration reform. Along with our allies, we will not rest until we accomplish this goal. We will continue organizing our people and educating our communities about immigrant rights.

In the 100 days of Obama administration, we will be raising the tide for social justice and immigrant rights. Stay connected. Worcester Immigrant Coalition is working with various religious groups and allies to organize “Know Your Rights” seminars. Your participation in this work is crucial.

3. Support leadership development of African-Americans, Immigrants and Native Americans and address the issues of Racial and Ethnical Disparities in the Public Sector in Worcester.

Because of the ongoing repression, people in our communities are disengaged from community life and spaces of policy making. At Worcester Immigrant Coalition, we believe in facilitative and shared leadership. Leadership only survives if we help to develop it in others. We ask you to support the leadership development of African-Americans, immigrants and Native American people and guarantee our share in the decision making spaces in Worcester. Together, we will make our city a reference in Massachusetts.

A good example to include more people of color in policy making spaces is the Working Group on Racial and Ethnical Disparities in the Health Care System. The issues of racial and ethnical disparities in the Health Care System should be a concern for all of us. Worcester is a city of African-Americans, European-descendents, Latino, African, and Asian Immigrants. Our city will strive in this moment of crisis unless we guarantee balanced representation of Worcester’s racial and ethnical groups in the public sector. If two-thirds of the populations — represented by African Americans and Immigrants - still face problems to access health care, everyone will be affected directly and indirectly. The Worcester Immigrant Coalition believes that the goal of the Racial and Ethnical Disparities Working Group to bring more equality in the public sector should be a reference to all sectors of the city administration.

4. Support the work of local organizations to end Homelessness in Worcester.

Seven lives were lost this winter in Worcester. Along with other residents in Worcester, we remember the suffering of Nancy, Ruby, Lenny, Joyce, Michael, Robert and Ziggy. Homelessness is a chronic problem that has affected many families. With the growing foreclosures in Worcester, we believe more people, including immigrant families, will be affected. We ask for your support to end homelessness in Worcester and establish another benchmark for our city, as the first city in the Commonwealth to eliminate homelessness.

For more information, visit Real Solutions’s page at Worcester Activist website: www.worcesteractivist.org/realsolutions.

5. Funds to public pools, parks and community gardens.

Our pools, our parks and other community spaces are essential spaces of community life. Cuts in the budget of these programs will affect immigrant families who are trying to build a new community in Worcester. New immigrants and other city residents alike rely on those spaces to establish roots in their communities. Without parks, pools and community gardens, our neighborhoods will lose its vitality. Our children and elderly will be the most affected without spaces for recreation and community life.

6. Help to create jobs in Worcester through the development of cooperative businesses and support local businesses.

The crisis has already paying its tool in our local economy. Unemployment rates are growing. Before the crisis, a minimum wage worker needed to work eight hours a day to fill the gas tank, buy food and pay the rent and service bills. Now the same worker needs to work more hours or have a second job to pay for the same expenses. In this growing recession, companies are laying off people who will have a hard time to find another job. We propose to the City of Worcester to establish a working group to design legislation that will support the creation of cooperatives in Worcester. This working group should be formed by a larger representation of city residents who are immigrants or/and unemployed.

7. Support youth education instead of the gambling game of Wall Street and greedy corporations.

Our city schools are understaffed. Classrooms are over capacity. Students at public schools are hopeless about their future. No funds for higher education. Students from undocumented immigrant families are the vulnerable victims of a failed immigration system. The majority of them have spent most of their lives in Massachusetts, but they are still required to pay out-of-state tuition. Drop-out rates will grow as many young people will be forced to work to complement their families’ income. In this path, we are bound to create a mass of uneducated and unskilled people. Without education and support, our youth will be heading to a dark future. Some of them will have the same path of others that have ended up in Juvenile Courts. A nation without a health youth is in disgrace.

8. Support the return of the troops and end the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan

Many of our sons and daughters and other family members were lured to join the Army to defend the country we call home. They were misled into a war that did not exist. They are not defending the United States. They are occupying sovereign nations. Today their lives are at risk just to increase the profits of “war” corporations. Our concern is that more lives will be lost. We ask for your support to bring them home safe and stop the killing of innocent civilians in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Our dreams of justice are the same of Iraq and Afghan people. We want peace to raise our families and build our communities.