MIAMI (CBSDC/AP) — Three immigrant advocates on a hunger strike to pressure lawmakers to change the country’s immigration system ended their three-week fast Tuesday on the National Mall, while a new group of fasters including U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III took their place.
About half a dozen Congress members, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, were there as the fasters left the tent Tuesday. Minnesota Democratic U.S. Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum began one-day solidarity fasts with the activists.
Immigration advocates in a handful of cities around the country also announced their own fasts in solidarity with those in D.C. Nearly a dozen activists in central and South Florida embarked on one-day fasts, as did groups in California and Oregon.
On Tuesday, Maria Rodriguez, head of the Florida Immigrant Coalition in Miami, posted a picture of herself on Twitter with a sign reading “I fast for Immigration Reform In…
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Illinois Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez said he will not give up on comprehensive immigration reform, even if it means getting arrested.
“We are not going away, the movement is stronger and more determined than ever,” Gutierrez said on MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki.”
Gutierrez said the momentum for immigration reform was in the streets and in events such as the “National Day for Dignity and Respect,” where thousands of immigration supporters around the country gathered to advocate for immigration reform. Then on Oct. 8 supporters culminated the events in a rally in Washington D.C., where Gutierrez and seven other members of the House of Representatives were arrested.
“The immigrant community isn’t giving up,” said Gutierrez, noting that everyday about 2,000 Latinos turn 18, making them eligible to vote.
He also added that he knew of about 40 to 50 Republicans who…
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Last night, Rachel Maddow interviewed one of the so-called Dream 9 – nine young men and women who were brought to the United States as children, without documents, and who recently staged a bold public action when they re-entered the country from Mexico, again without documents, knowing that they would likely be detained immediately upon arrival by U.S. immigration agents. On the Rachel Maddow Show, Lulu Martinez described her experience of being held in solitary confinement for 8 days at Eloy Detention Center in Arizona – punishment, she said, for providing information, with another Dream 9 woman, about a free legal hotline to her fellow detainees, and for encouraging them to “chant and speak out against injustices that were happening in the detention center.”
Typically, solitary confinement completely isolates immigration detainees: They are generally confined to a small jail cell for twenty-three hours a day, with little to no…
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Jorge-Mario Cabrera remembers reading about the estimated 1 million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans deported or scared into leaving their homes in the U.S. by government officials trying desperately to improve the economy during the Great Depression of the 1930s in the book, “Decade of Betrayal,” by Raymond Rodriguez and Francisco Balderrama.
It was the mid-1990s, the book had recently hit shelves, and Cabrera says it was required reading at the University of California at Santa Cruz where he was a community studies major. The co-author, Raymond Rodriguez, recently passed away on June 24 from a heart attack at age 87, but his legacy still strikes a chord in Cabrera, who is of Salvadoran descent, as well as in other immigrants today.
“I thought this could not have happened in my America — in a place that valued justice, freedom and the pursuit of happiness,” says Cabrera, director of communications at…
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