August 18, 2006

Guest Opinion

Political Action Needed in Struggle for Immigrant Rights

By H. Nelson Goodson
El Conquistador Newspaper
Milwaukee

It’s time to change strategy, and focus on financially supporting and electing a candidate who supports a pathway for citizenship for millions of immigrants. Yes, we have marched twice. The first one was on March 23, and more than 30,000 people marched making world wide news and we gained support from throughout the different ethnic groups in the city. Why? Because, we united as a Latino community in historical proportions against congressional bill HR 4437, which criminalizes everyone who knows and renders aid to an undocumented immigrant.

On May 1, a one day boycott took place to avoid spending money at those major businesses and establishments not in support of our immigrants and their families. Tens of thousands marched during the one day boycott here in Milwaukee.

However, today we realized that the second march served to support the people’s notion, especially those who are best identified as the conservative Republican extremists who use HR 4437 for the sole purpose to create racial hatred throughout the country. They didn’t waste any time coming out locally and nationally to say that indeed an immigration problem exists.

For the record, within the last six months more than 4 million people have marched nationwide for immigration rights and in opposition to HR 4437. The protests were ignited shortly after the U.S. Congress passed legislative bill HR 4437 in December, which would criminalize undocumented workers and penalize those who help them.

The bill also required all employers to screen for the legal status of all their employees to work in the country, an estimated 140 million workers.

Republican U.S. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin authored HR 4437. Sen-senbrenner is now running for re-election, and we have until November to retire him from politics. Yes, you read it right. We do have the opportune time, provided you, me and candidate Bryan Kennedy (Democrat) who is running for Sensenbrenner’s congressional 5th District seat can launch a major campaign.

Kennedy can very well be the person to bring about immigration reform and the needed change to our country. We can sure debate the point on who is better Sensenbrenner or Kennedy for our state, but let’s be realistic about it, Sensen-brenner is anti-Hispanic and Kennedy is a pro-ethnic supporter and will support equal representation for everyone, despite ethnic backgrounds. You choose, but don’t take long to realize who is the best person for Wisconsin.

Let’s take action now, donate money to Kennedy for his campaign. Individual Contributions are limited to $4,200 per election cycle. Couples may give $8,400 and it is divided equally as contributions of $4,200 from each partner. Individual contributions must come from people currently residing in the United States or from U.S. citizens living abroad. Foreign nationals living in another country cannot give to federal races in the U.S. Groups not registered as Federal Political Action Committees (PACs) and are limited to donations of not more than $1,000. Registered Federal PACs can give up to $10,000 per election cycle.

Anyone who gives in excess of $200 in any election cycle is considered a “big donor” and we are required to report their name, address, occupation and employer to the Federal Election Commission.

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