Tuesday, May 20, 2008

the Sanctuary

Duke from Migra Matters announces the launch of the Sanctuary, a website designed to give a voice to migrants and migrant advocates. It's an open forum in the Daily Kos model--anyone can join and post diaries, and there are built-in anti-troll measures based on community ratings. Some long-standing immigration bloggers have signed on as founding editors, and I'll be cross-posting there as well. Check it out, leave a comment, even put up a diary. Make yourself heard!

After months of planning and work, I'm proud to announce the opening of a new on-line community for all those interested in humane and practical immigration reform, migrant-rights, human-rights, and the greater struggle of all who those have left friends and family behind to start new lives in new lands.

The Sanctuary is a grassroots effort of a group of pro-migrant, human-rights, and civil-rights bloggers and on-line activists dedicated to the enactment of meaningful immigration reform that is practical, rational, fair and most of all humane.

Started to help offset the growing influence of right-wing, anti-immigrant, voices that have thus far dominated the debate, it's mission is to create a broad community of on-line pro-migrant activists, and translate digital activism into real-world, practical action.

The Sanctuary is intended to be a "cyber-sanctuary", free from the din of right-wing noise, where those working towards meaningful reform can come together in the hope of magnifying their individual efforts through community action and cooperation, and build bridges with like-minded activists from a wide cross-section of the political spectrum.

By working in cooperation with mainstream organizations and advocacy groups involved in the struggle for immigrant and human rights, we hope to build an issue-focused on-line community that facilitates direct communications and coordination between on-line activists, the new media, and those working daily in Washington, and on the ground to effect change.

After years of having the debate over immigration reform controlled by forces of intolerance and hate, while pro-migrant voices played defense in hopes of swaying public discourse, we are about to go on the offense against ignorance, bigotry, and hate – and The Sanctuary is just the first step in that offensive.

More on The Sanctuary from some of the other founding editors

Announcing the Launch of The Sanctuary by ManEegee from Latino Politico

Path to the Oasis by Nexua from The Unapologetic Mexican

The Sanctuary — A New Nexus by Kai from Zuky

"The Sanctuary" launch! by KetyE from Cross Left

1 comment:

John Smith said...

You lose again.

From: Anne Manetas, Deputy Director, NumbersUSA
Date: 21MAY08 10:45 a.m.

VICTORY: AgJOBS amnesty stripped from Iraq Supplemental

Your Phone Calls Worked!


CONGRATULATIONS! You have achieved what some believed to be nearly impossible last week. The AgJOBS amnesty has been stripped from the Iraq Supplemental bill. Here's more good news: the employment-based permanent workers have been stripped from the bill too!

Unfortunately, the H-2B low-sill worker increase is still in the Iraq Supplemental so your phone calls are still needed.

Please keep phoning your Senators throughout the day and ask them to strip the H-2B increase from the Iraq Supplemental spending bill. During your call, you may also want to express how pleased you were to learn that the amnesty and employment-based permanent workers were stripped from the bill.


Our Capitol Hill team heard initial reports late last night that the AgJOBS amnesty had been stripped from the bill, but we wanted to await confirmation of that before reporting back to you.

Apparently Senate Majority Leader Reid and other Senators were starting to fear a prolonged fight over the immigration provisions, similar to the Senate fight last summer over the "comprehensive" immigration bill. In order to avoid that, Senator Reid stripped the AgJOBS amnesty and employment-based permanent increases from the bill.

Your Phone Calls Made This Happen Our Capitol Hill team is hearing from one Congressional office after another that their phones have been ringing off the hook in opposition to the immigration provisions in the Iraq Supplemental.

There is still a chance we can get the H-2B increase stripped from the bill if Senators come to believe that it is just too controversial. We will come to you again later in the day or evening as we have new information.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 17-12 to attach an amnesty to the Iraq supplemental spending bill. The amendment that passed provides a 5-year visa for up to 1.35 million illegal agricultural workers—but the cap of 1.35 million does not include spouses and children, who would bring the total amnesty to a total of about 3 million.

Rosemary Jenks (Vice President, Government Relations) has outlined the most egregious aspects of the amnesty here. Find it online here http://www.numbersusa.com/PDFs/AgJOBS_Amnesty_2008.pdf.

In short, the AgJOBS amendment would require the Department of Homeland Security to grant “emergency agricultural worker status” (i.e., amnesty) for up to five years to as many as 1.35 million illegal aliens, plus their spouses and children.

Last Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee added several immigration amendments to the version of the Iraq Supplemental they were marking up.

The immigration amendments include the Feinstein AgJOBS-lite amendment, which passed by a recorded vote of 17-12; and the Mikulski H-2B amendment which would, for the next three years, exempt from the annual cap of 66,000 any H-2B workers who were admitted during the previous three years. (The impact on the numbers could be exponential--they could rise from 66,000 in FY 2008 to over 400,000 by FY2011.) This passed by a recorded vote of 23-6!

In a somewhat unexpected move, the Senate began debate on the Iraq Supplemental Spending bill late in the day on Tuesday of this week. Senator Byrd (D-WV) filed three substitution amendments Monday night to H.R. 2642 (to replace all the House language in three parts). This is a similar tactic the House used during debate on their version of the Iraq supplemental bill last week: divide the bill in three to give cover to the different party constituencies. The AgJOBS language is in the first amendment (SA 4786).


Rosemary reminded me this morning that we won't be totally safe until the bill is off of the Senate floor, but we are in much better shape this morning than we were last night and you are the reason why. Once again, you have shown the power of citizen-activism and reminded Congress that their immigration actions are being watched.

Thank you for reminding our elected officials of the immigration wishes of your fellow Americans.