Anakbayan New York/New Jersey will join a statewide protest called “Let my People Go” today, July 1, 2010, to protest immigrants’ detentions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)-Police Collaboration.
The progressive Filipino youth organization will be joining Philippine Forum-NJ, alongside NJ Forum for Human Rights and other progressive organizations in Journal Square to represent thousands of Filipinos who have adopted New Jersey as their second home. The rally will be held at Journal Square; the program will start at 2:00pm and will followed by a march towards Hudson County Administration Building.
“We are calling on our kababayans to stand up for immigrant rights. Based on the studies made by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), 1 out of 4 Filipinos suffer from the broken immigration system. Clearly, State Bill 1070 and other racist policies are not the solution for the continued influx of immigrants. The intent of S.B. 1070 is not to bring peace to our communities nor to protect jobs as popularly advertised by its proponents, but to break up families, divide community and ignite fear and contempt.” Said Yves Nibungco, chairperson of Anakbayan NYNJ.
S.B. 1070, a bill signed in Arizona last April 23 on which will take effect on July 29, enables the police force to search and question individuals regarding their immigration status based on suspicion. It also makes being undocumented as a state crime in Arizona.
“The chilling effect that this racist bill sends goes beyond Arizona. It escalates the already existing climate of fear among our kababayans. Left unopposed, copycat legislations will surely arise in other states that have high immigrant population. For that, we must stand in solidarity with the people of Arizona and to our undocumented kababayans as well. We can do this by going to the streets and demanding legalization for all.” Mr. Nibungco added.
The July 1st state-wide day of action is part of the rolling vigils and protest actions across 50 states organized by the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.
Living in America has been a dream of many, if not most Filipinos. Driven away from their home country due to poverty and unemployment, Filipinos migrate to the US in search of greener pastures. But for some immigrants, that dream is rapidly turning into a nightmare.
“Being in an organization that advocates for human rights, I have seen many HR violations that root from immigration problems. What many people don’t know is that once ICE or the police get their hands on you, they interrogate you as if you are a criminal who trespassed in their land, whether you are documented or not. It is extremely important that New Jerseyans never allow a law like SB1070 to be enacted in the state and joining protest actions like “Let My People Go” is one way to make a stand in this dirty debacle,” said Genesis Cimafranca, member of Anakbayan NY/NJ.
Anakbayan (in english: “sons and daughters of the nation”) is a comprehensive mass organization that aims to build unity among Filipino youth — immigrant, US-born/raised, student, working, LGBT, women, artists, etc — striving for nationalism and democracy and for the promotion of cultural awareness and the advancement of rights, welfare, and social justice. All Filipino youth are agents of social change, so all Filipino youth are welcome to join.
Anakbayan New York/New Jersey is a full-fledged chapter of Anakbayan in the Philippines and a member organization of BAYAN USA, MIGRANTE International, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA) and International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS).
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