Fundamentally, the United States is a nation of immigrants. Despite tremendous fear, uncertainty, and difficulty, wave after wave have still come. Each adding their own aspirations, and toiling under often brutal conditions, to relentlessly build upon what many of their brothers and sisters from around the world had already achieved.
It is abundantly clear -- without immigrants who tend to the life of the vines, and who often work behind the scenes in the cellars to actually make the wine -- the wine industry would be nothing but a vestige of itself. We, are grateful.
While the country's legislators continue to squabble over addressing the often ruinous effects of decades of hypocrisy and look-the-other-way politics, there are many people and organizations fighting to represent the human beings, families, and values that would provide for an Immigration reform bill that provides dignity for the workers who have long deserved it.
President Obama's stunning record high deportations, more than 2 million (Please see the "Obama Immigration Legacy" project by Presente.org), have torn apart real families, with real children. If that were not enough, industries, including Agriculture, are seeing spot labor shortages around the country, affecting our nation's ability to feed itself. The time for compassionate Immigration reform is now.
National Immigration reform with dignity has stalled once again. California AB-20 is an example of states taking it upon themselves, desperate for positive change, and unwilling to wait any longer.
But as 2017 begins, the Trump administration is launching a war against Immigrants. It doesn't matter if they have been contributing peacefully and meaningfully, while paying taxes, to our society for years -- the New York Times reported 3/06/17 roughly 60% of undocumented immigrants have been in US for a decade or more.
The LA Times reported 3'17'17 that despite the rise in farmworker wages of late, "Trump’s immigration crackdown is supposed to help U.S. citizens. For California farmers, it’s worsening a desperate labor shortage."
All compassion has been discarded in this ideology of fear, and politics of blame. Proud families have been forced into the shadows, living in constant fear of a traumatic, instant separation. Children, brought here by their Parents in search of a better life or fleeing oppression, and living their entire lives in the US, now face the looming threat of deportation ("Dreamers").
We are nothing less than a nation of Immigrants, built by and benefiting immeasurably from their contributions to every aspect of our lives. The daily fear and trauma must end.
Q: If these policies were directed against the Irish, Eastern European, Russian, Chinese immigrant communities, would you make your voice heard then? Muslim?
For 30 years, CHIRLA has fought, organized and served individuals, institutions and coalitions to build power, transform public opinion, and change policies to achieve full human, civil and labor rights. From policy & advocacy work, legal representation, to community engagement and organizing, CHIRLA is a vital resource for all civil rights.
LRCL is a community-based legal organization dedicated to empowering Latino, immigrant and low-income communities of San Francisco to advocate for their civil and human rights. We combine legal services and advocacy to build grassroots power and alliances towards creating a movement for a just society.
The politics of fear, hatred, ignorance, and divisiveness, might never be as -- unrestrained and public -- as it will be under the new President's administration. Our Immigrant neighbors are living in fear. It is real, and they need our Help.
Chinese Immigrant Labor and CA Wine Industry:
Let us not forget the fundamental contribution of Chinese laborers to establishing CA wine industry. Please see NPR report, here...