[Marxism] Thousands march for Haitian rights

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 26 10:05:38 MDT 2006

What we're seeing is an uprising of the working class and the
oppressed. It's important not to confuse the organized trade
union movement with the working class, which is far broader.
A political uprising, that is. These people are learning that
they have to think socially and act politically, and that an
injury to one is an injury to all. Here in Los Angeles, there
will be not onoe but two marches on May 1. The Catholic Church
and its allies are calling another one for the afternoon which
they say is for those who cannot make it to the demo and rally
at noon. Some see the Church's action as one aimed at splitting
or undercutting the main mobilization. That may well part of
the purpose, but many of the best people will be participating
at the second event, for example: Dolores Huerta. A better way
to see this, I think, is that the strike/boycott is for those
who can go and who aren't afraid of some of the consequences.

The later one is for another layer who may ask permission to
take off and so on. I'm convinced that some employers will be
not only allowing employees to take the day off, they will be
paying them. It's obvious that this is a political and social
movement bigger and broader than anything any of us have been
part of. It's something we must first of all solidarize with
and second of all endeavor to understand as best we can now.

There seem to be a range of very different things going on at
this moment. While Bush claims to be for compassionate laws
which will someday, some-way, some-how perhaps allow some of
the millions here to think that they may be able to have their
status legalized, ICE raids across the country are trying also
to terrorize immigrants at the same time. Imagine the fear in
the heart of the Free World's ideologues if the May 1 strikes
and marches are massively successful? Think of the messate it
will send to people all over the planet? At the same time we
are seeing other people learning lessons and mobilized in the
spirit of solidarity. Blacks who see what Washington does for
Cubans understand the racist differential in the way that the
Haitians get the boot as Cubans get the red carpet treatment.

Standing atop a van, Jack Lieberman, of the American Jewish 
Congress, gave the crowd a more forthright answer: ``It's 
racism. . . . If they allow the Cubans to stay, why are the 
Haitians kicked out!''

Cubans are not eligible for TPS. Those Cubans who attempt 
to enter the United States illegally can receive legal 
residency if they make it to dry land. If they are stopped 
at sea, they usually are returned to Cuba.

WALTER continuing:
By the way, the Cuban American National Foundation has a note
on their website declaring their opposition to any bills that
would make undocumented immigrants felons. Monitoring their
website, however, one doesn't see an protests against these
immigration raids, and we certainly don't see any support for
the May 1 mobilizations. Naturally, they'd just as soon see
absolute silence regarding things like the Cuban Adjustment 
Act which enable all Cubans who reach U.S. shorts to be home
free while Haitians, Dominicans, Mexicans and the rest instead
get the boot.

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews

Posted on Sun, Apr. 23, 2006	

Thousands march for Haitian rights
Protesters marched through North Miami 
to protest what they call an unjust policy 
toward Haitian immigrants.
pbailey at MiamiHerald.com

Marching in sync to the sound of beating drums and Haitian folk
songs, more than 4,000 protesters filled North Miami's streets
Saturday afternoon to denounce U.S. immigration policy toward

In the shadow of the federal government's regional immigration
offices at 79th Street and Biscayne, the crowd of mostly Haitians
flooded the busy boulevard, swaying in political unison to the rhythm
of black pride rooted in the world's first black republic -- now
broken by poverty.


Centered at the front lines of their crusade is a long-standing
demand: that all Haitians be granted temporary protected status, or
TPS, which permits immigrants from a handful of countries in crisis
to remain in the United States as lawful residents.

Again and again Saturday, the chant -- ''We Want TPS!'' -- echoed
throughout North Miami's streets.

''We're gonna fight to make sure there are no second-class citizens.
. . . Haitians will no longer go invisible!'' bellowed Eliseo Medina,
executive vice president of the Service Employees International
Union, a national organization representing nearly two million

Medina was one of several civic leaders who organized the rally with
other groups to protest what they call the unjust policies toward
Haitian immigrants that began with the Clinton administration.

''We just want justice for the Haitian people. . . . We've waited for
too long,'' local Haitian activist Ronald A. Brisé said.


Currently, the Department of Homeland Security, which has authority
over the TPS program, grants temporary legal status to immigrants
from Burundi, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Somalia and

Immigrants from Haiti have never been granted such status under TPS,
which Congress first approved in 1990.

TPS is authorized for those immigrants who are forced to flee their
home countries because of armed conflict, environmental disaster, or
other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

Brisé says Haitians meet every condition. ''Look at Haiti, and ask
why we're sent back home,'' he said.

Standing atop a van, Jack Lieberman, of the American Jewish Congress,
gave the crowd a more forthright answer: ``It's racism. . . . If they
allow the Cubans to stay, why are the Haitians kicked out!''

Cubans are not eligible for TPS. Those Cubans who attempt to enter
the United States illegally can receive legal residency if they make
it to dry land. If they are stopped at sea, they usually are returned
to Cuba.


Hundreds of protesters hoisted Haitian flags as they approached 79th
Street and Biscayne, and another chant of ''We Want TPS!'' rose from
the crowd.

A sense of urgency filled the air, prompting bystanders to follow the
procession. One store employee jumped from behind his cash register
to join ranks. Among the protesters was Mary Simeon, 42, who knows
firsthand of the Haitian struggle for citizenship.

She fled her homeland 11 years ago and now works in a seafood
restaurant in Coral Springs. She said Miami will offer a better life
for her U.S.-born daughters -- Gina, 7, and Gesula, 5 -- both of whom
joined their mother in the march.

''Haiti was hard, but I came here and did well . . . and now I'm a
citizen,'' said the elder Simeon. ``I want the same for my people.''

''I'm proud to be Haitian!'' yelled her daughter, Gina.

For countless others, the protest was more personal.

The words ''I need my dad here with me, not back in Haiti,'' was
emblazoned across one pink-colored poster raised high above the

Posted on Tue, Apr. 25, 2006	

183 migrants picked up in massive federal sweep
Immigration authorities detained 183 undocumented 
migrants in Florida, including 43 fugitive felons.
cbuckley at MiamiHerald.com

In the largest sweep of undocumented immigrants in Florida in a
decade, 183 -- including 43 felons -- were rounded up in the Miami
area and three other cities, officials said Monday.

Most of the migrants -- 130 -- had disobeyed federal deportation
orders, but another 53 were picked up last week because they were
nearby when immigration officials were looking for the others.


The action, dubbed ''Operation Phoenix'' by U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement, was carried out by federal, state and local law
enforcement agencies in Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando and South
Florida, where 95 of the arrests occurred.

The 43 fugitive felons had earlier convictions for crimes including
sexual molestation, child abuse, drug trafficking, weapons violations
and driving under the influence.

Michael Rozos, director of the federal agency's Miami field office,
said the roundup was part of an intensified federal effort to tighten
the country's borders, root out illegal migrants and ``restore
integrity to the Immigration Act.''

''Anybody who is a fugitive from justice is a danger to the
community,'' he said.

News of the weeklong sweep came two weeks after massive protests
supporting illegal immigrants' rights were staged in cities across
the country. Rozos insisted the roundup's timing was coincidental --
the culmination of months of careful planning by the agency's
Fugitive Operations teams.

One immigration advocate lamented the offensive, saying its primary
targets were not felons but likely ''working victims'' with menial
jobs, community ties and children born in the United States. Cheryl
Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy
Coalition, also said such sweeps are usually conducted rapidly and
ruthlessly, giving people little time to prepare or say goodbye to
family members.

''We recognize that federal immigration authorities have every right
to detain and deport those with final removal orders, but we question
the manner in which they do it,'' said Little. ``Immigrant roundups
such as these further erode the fragile trust of law enforcement in
immigration communities.''


Operation Phoenix dovetailed with the Department of Homeland
Security's multipronged Secure Border Initiative, aimed at stiffening
border and internal security and removing illegal migrants. All of
the 183 were arrested at home or work, though the operation was not a
work-site compliance initiative, which penalizes people who hire
undocumented workers.

The immigrants were originally from 26 countries, most in the
Caribbean and Central and South America. The majority will be
deported in the coming weeks and months, Rozos said.

Prominent Cuban American urges backing of bill
U.S. Cubans urged to back immigration bill

MIAMI, Friday April 7 / 2006 (UPI) --

A prominent Cuban-American has urged U.S. Cubans to rally around a
campaign to legalize undocumented immigrants.

Jorge Mas Santos, chairman of the Cuban American National Foundation,
called in a television advertisement for Cuban Americans to contact
the U.S. Congress and President George Bush to protest proposals that
would make felons of illegal immigrants.

''Today, more than ever, we Cubans should support our brothers of
Latin America,'' he said in Spanish.

The Miami Herald said the spots come as Hispanic communities across
the country are staging rallies to protest a fence along the U.S.
border and criminalizing illegal immigration.

In Miami, however, the response has been muted. The Cuban Adjustment
Act enables Cuban immigrants to apply for green cards after a year in
the country. Santos says he believes most Cuban-Americans favor
legalization for others, also.

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