Muslim Americans to Join Immigration Marches


Los Angeles, CA: In solidarity with immigration activists around the country, the Muslim Public Affairs Council as well as the Council on American-Islamic Relations - Los Angeles (CAIR-LA), the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, the LA Latino Muslim Association, the Muslim American Society-Los Angeles, and the Muslim Students Association - West (MSA West) are calling on American Muslims to participate in a day of action on May 1, 2006.
On that day, the Multi-ethnic Immigrant Worker Organizing Network (MIWON) is holding a march near downtown Los Angeles in support of immigration reform and worker’ rights. MPAC is coordinating Muslim American participation in this important event, which affects Americans of all ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. Similar events will be taking place across the country.
WHAT: International Worker's Day Immigration March
WHERE: McArthur Park (7th & Alvarado near Downtown LA)
WHEN: Monday, May 1st, 2006 at 4:00 p.m.
CO-SPONSORS: Muslim Public Affairs Council, Council on American-Islamic Relations - Los Angeles (CAIR-LA), Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, L.A. Latino Muslim Association (LALMA), MSA West, Muslim American Society - Los Angeles (MAS-LA), Multi-ethnic Immigrant Worker Organizing Network (MIWON) - http://thistuesday.org/node/127
WHY SHOULD MUSLIMS GET INVOLVED?
Islam's message is one of social justice, economic fairness, and fair treatment in the workplace. The Qur'an urges the proper treatment and respect of workers. Several Muslim leaders discussed the relevance of the Qur'an to the struggle for dignity in the workplace with union leaders and other religious leaders during the "Islam and Labor: Forging Partnerships Conference," held November 10, 2001 in Washington, DC. Co-convened by the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the conference sought to build relationships between Muslims, interfaith committees and labor communities. As the Prophet Muhammad is quoted as saying, "None of you has faith unless you love for your brother what you love for yourself."
It is against this backdrop that American Muslim organizations are calling for a comprehensive immigration reform that includes provisions for a pathway to lawful permanent residence for the undocumented currently in the United States, a temporary worker program that matches willing workers with willing employers, and a reduction in the current backlogs in family-based immigration to the United States.
HOW DO WE VIEW IMMIGRATION REFORM?
The United States has always been a nation of immigrants, but today the country has more than 33 million foreign-born residents, the largest number since the US Census started keeping such statistics in 1850. In 2003, foreign-born residents made up 11.7 percent of the population, the highest percentage since 1910. And over the past 16 years, the newcomers, many of them undocumented, have poured into places in the South and Midwest that have not seen sizeable numbers of new immigrants in generations.
On December 16, 2005, the House of Representatives passed HR 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. The bill was introduced by Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI). The Sensenbrenner bill is an inadequate enforcement-only bill that fails to address comprehensive immigration reform. In particular, it does not include any provision for a guest worker program, an earned legalization program, nor a reduction in the backlogs for family-based immigration. Instead, the bill criminalizes undocumented people for unlawful presence in the United States, and criminalizes people who work or volunteer with faith-based organizations for helping someone in need, who turns out to be undocumented.
For more information, see: http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/action.html.
[CONTACT: Edina Lekovic, 213-383-3443, communications@mpac.org]

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