Tag Archives: immigration reform

Reportback from Conference on Immigration to the U.S. South

by Richard Macmaster

The 5th Conference on Immigration to the U.S. South brought academics and activists to the University of Florida campus the last week in October. Planned around the theme “Immigration Reform and Beyond?” when passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill still seemed possible, conference speakers had to deal with the reality that meaningful reform of the broken system will not happen in the foreseeable future.

Keynote speakers put immigration in broad perspective. Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami spoke to the moral imperative for immigration reform and an end to deportations. Professor Mae Ngai of Columbia University addressed “illegal” immigration in American history and a remedy for the present impasse. Monica Ramirez of the Southern Poverty Law Center dealt with anti-immigrant bias and efforts to counteract it through the courts.

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Gainesville Organizes for Immigration Reform, Hopes to Influence Passage of Comprehensive Bill

by Liz Getzman

A group of local residents and organizations gathered at Gainesville’s Mennonite Meeting House on Tuesday, May 7, to continue organizing a coalition on immigration reform within the Third Congressional District of Florida.

Organized by Gainesville’s Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice, and under the leadership of Marihelen Wheeler, former Democratic primary candidate for Florida’s House of Representatives, the coalition hopes to influence the U.S. Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the coming months. A specific goal of the group is to work directly with Ted Yoho, U.S. Representative for the Third Congressional District.

Edwin Enciso, organizer for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) NOW, a Florida-based group that advocates for state and national immigration reform, joined residents Tuesday evening to help organize the Immigration Summit on Saturday, June 1, at 1 p.m. at the Fairfield Presbyterian Church in Marion County (15096 NW Highway 225, Fairfield, FL 32634).

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Walking for the American DREAM

The Campaign for an American DREAM (CAD) kicked off on March 10 on its walk from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. in an effort to create dialogue around the passage of the DREAM Act and immigration reform with the values of equality, unity and diversity.

The walkers are made up of six undocumented students and their allies.

Alex Aldana is a queer undocumented immigrant rights activist who works as a community organizer/health advocate for Latino LGBTQ youth, HIV/AIDS prevention, education and treatment with social justice, advocacy and empowerment to immigrant communities impacted by health disparities in Southern California.

Lucas Da Silva is an undocumented student from Orlando, Fla., who was brought to the U.S. at the age of 12 months from Rio de Janeiro on a tourist visa. He and his family originally moved to New York City, but moved to Orlando after the 9/11 attacks. Da Silva is enrolled at Valencia College in Orlando with a major in Political Science/Philosophy. 

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