November 2011 Archives
I say "parting shot" because even though the City of Los Angeles prepares to evict Occupy LA, the '99% movement' is evolving beyond the presence of just tents occupying City Hall. It is evolving to become more focused: drafting this list of 10 demands to local authorities. One of the most notable demands in that list is this unequivocal promigrant stance:
Los Angeles [is] to be declared a sanctuary city for the undocumented, deportations to be discontinued and cooperation with immigration authorities be ended - including the turning in of arrestees' names to immigration authorities.
Having been on the ground since the occupation started, I can report that the very fact that this list of demands was so quickly drafted by its leaders and approved by Occupy LA's General Assembly represents in and of itself a showing of the movement's maturing into a more organized endeavor.
Before I do so, however, I will provide a summary of developments up to this point in case people are having trouble following this. Cecilia Muñoz raised the ire of the pro-migrant community when she came out defending the dangerous S-Comm program at the same time that she essentially compared us to nativists. Many pro-migrant organizations came out against Ms. Muñoz's statement, and some Latin@ bloggers like Mario Solis-Marich and Maegan Ortiz, came out asking Ms. Muñoz to resign.
It wasn't until Ms. Muñoz came out in the documentary "Lost in Detention" defending the horrific immigration practices of the Obama administration that Presente.org called on Ms. Muñoz to correct the misrepresentations she's relying on to defend harmful program like S-Comm. Presente.org has not called on Ms. Muñoz to resign. In response to Presente.org's actions and the increasingly vocal cries of Latin@ bloggers, a group of pro-migrant organizations came out with a letter defending Cecilia Muñoz. Following is Presente.org's response to that letter:
Cecilia Muñoz used to be known as a fighter for immigrant rights. She worked on NCLR's policy team advocating for better laws in Congress. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2000 for her work on civil rights and immigration.
But then she took a job working for the most anti-immigrant president since Herbert Hoover. Each year he has been in office, President Obama has set a new record for deportations. He is on track to deport more people in one term than George W. Bush did in two. Maybe Muñoz didn't know what she was getting into in January 2009. After all, Candidate Obama sounded like an ally to immigrants back in 2008 when he was courting the Latino electorate:
the system isn't working when... communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids, when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing, when people are detained without access to legal counsel. When all that's happening, the system just isn't working.and
I don't know about you, but I think it's time for a President who won't walk away from something as important as comprehensive reform when it becomes politically unpopular.You could parse Candidate Obama's statements to make them consistent with President Obama's immigration policies, but not many would believe it.
And that is Muñoz's problem now: her job is to defend the indefensible. She is paid to bamboozle the pro-migrant electorate so her boss can get reelected.