Alaskans Protest Dramatic Failure of Federal Immigration System, Renew Calls For Immediate Reform
ANCHORAGE, AK – After months of calls and meetings with Alaska’s elected officials, local citizens will take to the streets in calling for immediate action on immigration. Citing a rapid increase in local deportations alongside Arizona’s new draconian legislation, Alaskans are looking toward Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski to show that they are capable of leading on important domestic issues.
Hundreds of concerned citizens will take to the street on May Day demanding an immigration bill this spring that protects American workers, keeps families together, and accounts for the cultural and economic needs of Alaska. Business owners, faith communities, and union leaders will all be standing in unity for a bill to be introduced in Congress immediately, for the President to end rogue enforcement and harassment by ICE of immigrant families, and for the passing comprehensive immigration reform in 2010.
"We have to stop pitting worker against worker in a race to the bottom, we need legislation now that rewards companies that play by the rules and protects both American and foreign born workers in our community." Said Marvin Jones, President of Unite HERE Local 878.
Business owners and tax payers alike site the cost of deportations, including immigration jails and the cost on the local economy as yet another reason for a drastic change. A recent study from the Immigration Policy center puts the cost of mass deportation in Alaska at $484.7 million in expenditures, $215.3 million in economic output, and approximately 1,980 jobs, although community members and faith leaders are concerned about the human impact.
"Children in this community deserve to be protected, not targeted, by our laws. The dramatic failure of the immigration system is clear in Arizona's legislation, it is time for our local community to stand up for families being torn apart and say, 'not in my backyard,'" said Edith LaFlex, a community member helping to organize the event who works with the Office of Children Services.
Details: Rally for Reform: Saturday, May 1st, 2010, 12pm-2pm, corner of Seward and Benson