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Wednesday, February 22, 2006
February 2006

To the Honorable Senator of the U.S. Congress:

We, the undersigned members of the Filipino American community express our serious discontent with the ongoing abuses suffered by immigrants in this country. In particular, the descriminatory treatment of undocumented and temporary workers is causing us great concern. We appeal to you as an elected member of the U.S. Congress to stand against the expansion of all forms of injustice, but most especially the insensitive policies and erosion of rights perpetrated on immigrant communities.

In recent years, immigrants of color have been suffering the most severe rollback of rights and liberties. Arab and Muslim Americans live in fear of biased initiatives like Special Registration and domestic spying. Latinos are frequently victims of workplace raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Many Filipino Americans suffer through life-threatening medical conditions rather than seek emergency care at a public hospital. Immigrants of color are treated as second-class members of society as a matter of policy.

Every human being deserves the same opportunity to pursue life, and happiness, including immigrants.

Today, our country is mired in a polarized debate over immigrants policy, which is really about how to integrate newcomers into civil society. On one side are those who see immigrants as cheap instruments of production who should be denied to basic public services and workplace equality. On the other side are those who support the rights of all people to live with dignity and respect. We've been here before as a nation, it was called segregation and Jim Crow.

Rights are approximately 2.4 million Filipino-Americans in the U.S., 65 percent of whom are foreign-born. Within this group, anywhere rom 6percent to 35 percent are undocumented (respective estimates of the U.S. and Philipine Government). This amounts to thousands upon thousands of Filipino living under the constant threat of deportation and vulnerable to employer abuse.

There are those in the U.S., who fear social progress and seek to exploit and abuse newcomers to our country. We hope you are not one among them.

The solution to this complex issue is not out of our reach. Proposals that grant permanent resident status to the undocumented, restore fairness to the deportation process, and reject the further expansion of existing guestwoker programs are among the most equitable ways to show our respect for the contributions of immgirants and integrate newcomers into American society.

We must also reject all attempts to further rollback the rights if immigrants, including the REAL ID ACT and bills such as HR 4437, the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act.

As members of the Filipino community, we implore you to back the current trend fo racist laws and policies that relegate immigrants to second-class status in society.

Instead, we invite you to stand for the rights and dignity of all people.

For further information, you may contact the Fellowship of Filipino Migrants at telephone (224)281-6888 or e-mail nerisaafpmc@yahoo.com, lead convenor of AFAPIR.

(Source: an open letter from The Filipino-American Community Builder/ Feb '06 issue)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:14 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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