Saturday, June 30, 2012

Talking Points

Third in a series of posts about GA2012 and the June UUA Board Meeting

Settling into my seat to fly home, I was filled with spirit and the warmth of sharing so many experiences with thousands of UUs.  I overflowed with the passion of injustice done to so many vulnerable families. 

My seatmate was not a UU.   He was dubious about "where to put all the criminals" if you shut down Tent City, and "we can't just throw open our borders" and "we pay for all their kids' education because they don't pay property taxes"  and "our emergency rooms are flooded because they don't have health care."

I wish I had paid more attention to those talking points.

So, for when you are in the same situation (and if you never are, you are talking too much to the choir), here are the talking points passed out at the Tent City vigil:
  • Our immigration system separates children from their parents.  Any system that breaks of families is itself broken.
  • The inhospitality and cruelty shown to immigrants today weakens our nation's soul. 
  • From January-June 2011, ICE removed 46,486 undocumented parents who claimed to have at least one child who is an American citizen.
  • The U.S. detains 280,000+ people/year, at an annual cost of $1.2 billion to taxpayers.  Much of the money goes to private contractors. 
  • We must end human rights abuses perpetrated against migrants; stop laws that spur racial profiling and collectively punish foreign-born individuals living in this country.
  • It's time for the federal government to implement policies and laws that keep families together and citizenship for undocumented individuals in this country.
  • No human being is illegal!
The last plenary session featured a list of resources provided by the UUA staff for congregations to "take it home".  You can find it here, right after UUSC President Bill Schulz speaks.  Either watch the video or scroll down about 6 page lengths.

And one of the best discussions of what "comprehensive immigration reform" could look like, and how to talk about it, was presented in a Thursday workshop by Angela Maria Kelly, with Center for American Progress. Not yet on the UUA website, I will post when it is.


1 comment:

Bill Baar said...

Why do you strip the immigrant of responsibility and agency? A person who crosses the border without a visa commits a crime. I don't think we should be brutal, or impose a penalty that exceeds the scale of the crime, but the immigrant started down a path. The solution to all of this by the way is work permits. Any member of a NAFTA CAFTA signatory nation ought to be able to work where ever they can find a job.