PRESS RELEASE: Immigrants Rights Activists will hold a Rally on Labor Day

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For Immediate Release: Friday, August 23, 2013

Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, ph: 425.344.8641 and 253.347.4229, em:

Immigrant Rights Activists Will Hold A Rally for a Just Immigration Reform at Westlake Park on Monday September 2nd, 2013.

SEATTLE – El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social will hold a rally at Westlake Park, on Monday September 2nd, 2013. The purpose of the rally is to draw attention to the plight of the immigrant community in wake of the passage of Senate Bill 744 in the U.S. Senate. Details for the event are below:

WHO: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social.

WHAT: Labor Day Rally for a Humane and Just Immigration Reform.

WHERE: Westlake Park (400 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101)

WHEN: Monday September 2nd, 2013, 11:00 am-1:00 pm.


SB 744, which is currently stalling in the U.S. House of Representatives, is legislation that will benefit only a select portion of the estimated 11 Million undocumented residents in the United States, while simultaneously pumping more capital into an already bloated Border Enforcement Mechanism. The 13 year process, which makes documentation hinge on the ability to maintain continuous employment, places many immigrants in a tenuous position where they are at their employer’s will, making for an atmosphere that can lead to workplace abuses. The clear winner in this proposal are the Arms and Private Detention Center Industries which benefits from unprecedented spending allocated toward policing the border and detaining undocumented immigrants. We join our peers in the southern borderlands in opposing this proposal. The bill is short-sighted, lacks protections for immigrant workers, and further works at corroding the fabric of our communities. As workers who are essential to the U.S. economy we deserve better! We will continue to voice our concerns and push for a just immigration reform that respects the human, civil and labor rights of all.


For more information, contact the following: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, ph: 425.344.8641 and 253.347.4229, em:


PRESS RELEASE: Response to Senate Bill 744

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For Immediate Release: Friday, August 23, 2013

Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, ph: 425.344.8641 and 253.347.4229, em:

Immigrant Rights Activists Respond to Senate Bill 744

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 ignores the reality of contemporary migration and immigrant labor.

SEATTLE – The recent passage of Senate Bill 744 is the latest attempt to overhaul the United States’ immigration system since the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility” (IIRIRA) Act of 1996. This action in congress is a pro-active measure at addressing a concern that has been the central preoccupation of various families and communities directly impacted by the issue. In reaching bi-partisan support, congress has drafted and voted through, a measure that will allow for a drawn out 13 year path to citizenship for some, while simultaneously militarizing a southern border that is already heavily fortified.

On Sunday, August 4th 2013, we held a gathering to hear community concerns about the bill and craft our official response to SB 744. El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, reaffirms its stance that any legislation that is entertained through both the House of Representatives and the Senate, MUST secure the rights of immigrant workers, families, and communities. As a matter of principle, it is important to address the humanitarian needs of our communities first and foremost. All are deserving of a dignified existence, free of intimidation, workplace abuse, police harassment, violence, and forced family separation. It is with this in mind, that we vociferously oppose the enforcement heavy amendments and provisions codified within S 744.

From preliminary discussion, it appears likely that S 744 will be scrapped by the U.S. House of Representatives in favor of house-initiated legislation that promises to be even more divisive and restrictive. As social justice proponents, this is not what we had in mind when we took to the streets to demand drastic change to the immigration infrastructure. We saw draconian legislation over seven year ago, and see more of the same as the emphasis on “enforcement-first” points to the fact that conservative politicians, of both stripes, have a tenuous grasp of reality and are still utilizing an ineffective, outdated model that has proved useless in meeting our present day challenges.

The only major beneficiaries are the representatives of the Military Industrial Complex and the politicians working on their behalf. While immigrants are forced to pass through a 13 year labyrinth which will inevitably weed many out of the path to citizenship, the arms industry will line its pockets with lucrative contracts that pump more money into an already bloated border defense apparatus. As such, we join human rights proponents, social justice advocates, and our peers along the southern border, in opposing the legislation as is.

The first action that we will take in verbalizing this position will be with a demonstration at Westlake Park on Labor Day. Details to follow in the coming days. As a community, we believe that addressing the humanitarian crisis should take precedence. We’ve spent too much time watching the situation deteriorate. We need a just immigration reform, and we need it now!


For more information, contact the following: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, ph: 425.344.8641 and 253.347.4229, em:


El Comité Responds to the United States Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant SB 1070 Legislation


For Immediate Release: Thursday June 28, 2012

Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, 206.324.6044/253.347.4229.

El Comité Responds to the United States Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant SB 1070 Legislation


SEATTLE – El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social views the United States Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070 as a failure on part of our judicial branch to protect the basic rights of immigrants and people of color from harassment and racial profiling. On the morning of Monday, June 25th 2012, the Supreme Court passed down its ruling on the aforementioned, contentious bill. In a 5-3 decision the court ruled that three of the key provisions were unconstitutional, save for the provision that allows for police in Arizona to stop and ask documentation from people presumed to be in the United States without proper documentation.

In April of 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070, sparking contentious debate as to whether states can enforce federal immigration law. The act of signing SB 1070 was perhaps one of the biggest threats to civil liberties in communities of color, setting a dangerous precedent that will reverberate nation-wide. Central to the debate is the provision that allows law enforcement to stop and detain people suspected of being undocumented. Although other provisions were struck down, the fact of the matter remains that in Arizona, police are still able to exercise discriminatory policing based on a person’s appearance.

In Maricopa County, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, was found to utilize excessive and discriminatory force against the Latino community, as reported by a United States Department of Justice investigation. As a whole, the social climate in the state that introduced SB 1070 is one that enables discrimination and hostility toward immigrants and people of color in general.

El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social reiterates the earlier point that in spite of the striking down of three provisions of SB 1070, perhaps the most controversial of these provisions, was left intact by the Supreme Court decision. Of concern with the decision, is the fact that various copycat laws have been passed since the introduction of SB 1070 in Arizona. As we have done over the course of the last twelve years, we will continue to work to ensure that all are given the opportunity to have a dignified existence, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or documented status.


For more information, contact the following: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, 206.324.6044/253.347.4229.


May Day Marches in Washington State

Some Information Courtesy of May Day United []

If you know of other May Day Marches and you’d like them featured on this blog, please e-mail the information and image of the flyer to El Comite’s In-House Blog-ista at:

Mt. Vernon
Location: 2405 East College Way
Time: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Description: 24th Annual Farm Worker Solidarity March – farm workers and their supporters will march for the right to organize.
10:30am- Rally in Maiben Park, Burlington, WA
March for approximately 7 miles to Skagit Valley College in Mt. Vernon, WAThe Northwest’s longest running farm worker rights march; Community will march to strengthen the Farm Worker and Immigrant Rights Movement on May 1, 2011
Web Site:
More Info: Please call 360-941-1509

Location: 611 20th Ave S
Time: 1:00 PM
Description: Starting point: Judkins Park (next to St. Mary’s Church)
611 20th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
Ending point: Memorial Stadium, 401 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98109
Web Site:
More Info: 206-356-3500

Location: Corner of North 3rd ST and East E ST
Time: 3:30 PM
Description: Starting point: Miller Park in Yakima
Web Site: N/A
More Info: Contact Rogelio Montes, 509-728-6679

May Day March Keynote Speaker Bio: Carlos Arango

Carlos Arango was a participant in the popular student movement in Mexico City in 1968. Soon after, he immigrated to Los Angeles, California where he served as Director of Political Education for the Center for Autonomous Social Action-General Brotherhood of Workers (CASA-HGT, by its Spanish acronym), and organization of Mexican immigrants founded by famed Labor Leader, Bert Corona.

[More on the History of CASA HGT can be found at this link: ]

Carlos went to Chicago, Illinois in 1975 to organize with the local chapter of CASA-HGT where he helped develop educational and organizational work in the region. He also helped co-found the Midwest Coalition in Defense of Immigrants. He also participated in the International Conference for the Rights of Undocumented Workers and their Families, hosted in Mexico City.

In 1985 he helped found the National Network for Immigrants and Refugee Rights (NNIRR), and as part of the network in 1986, participated in the campaign for unconditional amnesty for all undocumented people and reject the section of the law that would force employers to require immigration documentation for workers. In 1989, he also directed an educational program to help people attain their permanent resident status by studying English, History and the U.S. Constitution.

In 1994 he actively fought against Proposition 187 in California and in 1996 was part of the organizing committee of the Coordinadora 96 and organization of the Latino March on October 12th 2006.

In 1994 he was named Executive Director of the Casa Aztlán, a community center in Chicago, a position he still currently holds.

In 1983, Carlos also participated in the movement to elect the first African American Mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington and worked to help obtain Latino representation within city politics and within the popular electoral process.

Since the 1990s he’s been involved in the struggle for Mexican voting rights abroad during Mexican election cycles as well as the fight to obtain political representation for migrant Mexicans in the Mexican House of Representatives and Senate.

In addition, Carlos has also participated in coordinating the March 10th Movement in Chicago which drew a few hundred thousand demonstrators who took to the streets of Chicago on March 10 2006 to protest the proposed Sensenbrenner Bill (H.R. 4437) and to advocate the legalization of all immigrants. In recent year he has participated in the Movimiento Nacional por la Esperanza and the United Front for Immigrants, to defend the rights of the undocumented people.

[Link to May Day March Organizing Efforts in Chicago: ]

Carlos has received multiple awards for his activist work and writes and contributes to various newspapers in the city of Chicago.


Carlos Arango fue participante del movimiento estudiantil  popular de 1968 en la ciudad de México. Inmigro a Los Ángeles California donde fue director de educación política de Centro de Acción Social Autónoma Hermandad General de Trabajadores (CASA-HGT) una organización de inmigrantes mexicanos fundada por el líder histórico Bert Corona.

Carlos  FUE A Chicago Illinois en 1975 para organizar con el Comité local de Casa Hermandad de Trabajadores,  le toca desarrollar trabajos organizativos y de educación en 1980 le toca  se co-fundador de la Coalición del Medioeste en defensa del Inmigrante, Participa en la Conferencia Internacional por los Derechos de los trabajadores indocumentados y sus familias en la Ciudad de México

En 1985 ayuda a fundar la Red Nacional Por los Derechos de los inmigrantes y Refugiados,  En 1986 participa en la campaña por la Amnistía Incondicional para  todos los indocumentados y para rechazar la sección de la ley migratoria que busca poner sanciones a las compañías que empleen trabajadores sin documentos. En 1989 dirige un programa de educación para que las personas  puedan lograr su residencia permanente estudiando Ingles y Historia  de Estados Unidos y la constitución.

En 1994 activamente lucha contra  la proposición 187 de California y en 1996 Es parte del comité organizador de La Coordinadora 96 y la organización de la Marcha Latina del  12 de Octubre del 2006.

En 1994 es nombrado director Ejecutivo de Casa Aztlán un centro comunitario en la comunidad de Chicago, actividad que desarrolla hasta la fecha.

En 1983 Carlos participa en el movimiento para elegir al primer alcalde afroamericano en Chicago Harold Washington y para  obtener representación Latina en los órganos de elección popular.

Desde los años noventa se incorpora en la lucha para obtener el voto de los mexicanos en el exterior para cargos de elección popular en México, así como la lucha para obtener representación política de los migrantes en la Cámara de Diputados y el Senado.

Carlos participa en la dirección del movimiento 10 de marzo en Chicago en  que marcharon ciento de miles de personas que se oponían a la  ley Sensenbrenner y por una legalización plena. Desde esta fecha ha participado en  el Movimiento Nacional por la Esperanza, El  Frente Unido de Inmigrantes   para defender la  causa de los indocumentados.

Carlos ha recibido múltiples reconocimientos y escribe y colabora para varios periódicos en esta ciudad de Chicago.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Organizers Anticipate Larger Turnout for Annual March Scheduled for Sunday, May 1st 2011.


For Immediate Release: Tuesday April 19, 2011

Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition, 206.324.6044.

Organizers Anticipate Larger Turnout for Annual March Scheduled for Sunday, May 1st 2011.

Cuts in Public Services, Attacks on Organized Labor, and the recently proposed Drivers’ License bill that would have denied undocumented immigrants, among major issues in mobilization.


SEATTLE – This year, as in the past, El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition will host their annual May 1st March, scheduled to begin at Judkins Park in Seattle on Sunday, May 1st 2011, in what many anticipate will be one of the largest marches yet. This is scheduled to be yet another major event in what has been a very active year. Protests have erupted throughout the country in response to adverse economic conditions as well as congressional inactivity in addressing immigration reform in a humane, non-racially biased way.

The recent wave in demonstrations both locally and nationally have illustrated popular discontent with the direction in which law makers in Olympia and Washington D.C. have taken budgetary discourse. Cuts in public services in many states have drawn scores of demonstrators in opposition. Likewise, labor disputes centered on the right to organize collectively have sparked a groundswell of support for workers in many states along the Eastern United States, most notably in states like Wisconsin, New Jersey and Michigan, among others.

Similarly, in the State of Washington, one of the most controversially contested bills was SB 5407, which would prohibit anyone who is undocumented to obtain a drivers license. Though not as far-reaching and constitutionally questionable as Arizona SB 1070, the bill’s sponsor led legislative hearings around SB 5407 that were fraught with xenophobic grandstanding under the guise of transportation safety. In the end, the bill was defeated, as even Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camano Island) cast a vote against the bill that she herself sponsored.

According to Juan Jose Bocanegra, an organizer with El Comité, “these issues are all interconnected. Many who bear the brunt of this economic downturn are also the ones who are blamed by corporate and right wing interests. Workers are divided by barriers in national status, income, and ability. When it comes down to it, we all see the same attacks. It’s important to acknowledge each other and work together for all our common interests.”

The 2011 March route will go downhill from the Judkins Park and curve northbound on way to Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center. A two hour program is slated for attendees and will include musical performances, speeches by local labor and social justice leaders, and a special keynote from longtime, Chicago-based activist, Carlos Arango, formerly a student leader at the time of the Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico City in 1968 and presently Executive Director of the Casa Aztlan community center in Chicago.

The May 1st Action Coalition is an entity comprised of labor and social justice organizations in the greater Seattle area that has come together in recent years to organize alongside El Comité for the Annual May 1st March. El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social has been in existence since April of 2000. This event will mark the 11th year that this march has been organized and sponsored by El Comité and other social justice groups.

For more information, contact the following: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition, 206.324.6044.




The Annual May Day March would not be possible without the help of numerous organizers and volunteers who donate their time and energy to the cause of workers, civil and human rights to make the largest Immigrant Rights March in the Pacific Northwest. This year, as in others past, we continue to witness attacks against workers via budget cuts and against the basic right to organize collectively, the most visible of these attacks occurring in Wisconsin and along the Midwest. Likewise, ICE officials and state legislatures across the country continue an onslaught against undocumented workers and communities with absolute impunity. One such example with the recent

drivers’ license bill in Olympia that was halted momentarily in early March.


Entering the 11th year of the May Day March, the coalition is in need of volunteers to help put the program together and ensure things run smoothly on May 1st.

We are in need of 300 volunteers to help with the march and 30 ushers to help at Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center

To volunteer contact our volunteer coordinator at: