Honorable Barack Obama,
As workers, we do not usually talk to highly important people, let alone have the honor of addressing the first black president of this country.
We are appealing to you as our president, as the person who is charged with representing the needs and interests of the people of this country.
Today, as a result of the 26.3% will of all eligible voters, or if you prefer a minority representing 46.1% of the popular vote (2,864,978 fewer votes than the candidate who took first place), we are confronting a new political regime of a minority. That minority wants to change the country, so much that they have already announced measures of restriction to human, civil, political, economic and cultural rights.
That minority has taken the streets and is threatening society and its diverse people. And among that minority are public servants who are taking actions that are creating a collective state of fear. That minority is raising their voices and shouting what they did not dare to say in public before. This minority hates and lets everyone know.
They want to create divisions among people. Between whites and all the others. They are betting on the creation of a system of racial segregation (identifying “bad migrants” – people of color – and differentiating them from good migrants – white populations from Europe).
Contrary to what is commonly believed in this country, immigrant workers of all nationalities, ethnicities, languages and cultures do not come to create problems, we come to provide solutions. We contributed almost 32% to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The 11 million undocumented workers contribute almost 4% to our GDP. We bring more solutions to this country than the supposed problems that are attributed to us.
We know for certain that you have not always been our ally. The more than 3 million undocumented workers deported during your regime testify to it. But, today you remain the President of all the people of this country and have the legal responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution and human rights.
Therefore, because it remains your responsibility, we demand that you stop the aggressions and threats against immigrants and people of color. We demand that you investigate and punish those responsible, and even more.
The first black president of this country will have to hand over the mandate to a regime that offers prejudice and social ostracism. Because we understand this, we also appeal to the role of the President as an ethical leader of a society that seeks to build its social relations with justice, dignity, equity, and democracy. We are approaching you, as the political leader of this country.
Thus today we demand that you assume your status as President of the United States of America and help prevent a domestic humanitarian catastrophe. Deporting 11 million human beings will not only irreversibly damage the economy of this country, it will break the social fabric, community life and the trust of society in its institutions. Destroying our right to live in peace and civility does not open doors to the construction of a society like the one you helped create and strengthen.
Mr. President, we require you take a bold, creative, and humane political measure to protect families and help consolidate the national economy. We demand that you issue as soon as possible a Decree for General Pardon of Infraction of Immigration Status before the end of your term of office. This should include all undocumented workers.
We know that we speak with a brave leader; you have shown it. Today society demands that you take action as our most worthy champion.
Immigrant Worker Center Collaborative (IWCC from Massachusetts and Rhode Island).
Brazilian Worker Center (Allston, MA)
Brazilian Women’s Group (Brighton, MA)
Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores (New Bedford, MA)
Chelsea Collaborative (Chelsea, MA)
Chinese Progressive Association (Chinatown, Boston, MA)
Fuerza Laboral (Central Falls, RI)
Lynn Worker Center for Economic Justice (Lynn, MA)
MassCOSH (Dorchester and East Boston, MA)
Metrowest Worker Center/Casa do Trabalhador/ Casa del Trabajador (Framingham and Milford, MA)
Essex County Community Organization.
Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts.
Matahari Women Workers, Massachusetts.
Justice At Work, Massachusetts.
Centro Presente, Massachusetts.
UMass Boston, Labor Resource Center.
Harvard Trade Union Program.
Sister Eileen Burns, SNDdeN, Executive Director of Notre Dame Education Center, Lawrence, MA.
Bro. Kenneth V. Hogan, FMS, Board Member, Notre Dame Education Center-Lawrence-MA.
Boston Area Spanish Exchange (BASE).
Teury Marte, Salem MA Latino Coalition.
Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network.
Arlington Street Church- Social Action Committee.
Massachusetts Communities Action Network.
Clinicians for Healthy Families.
Student Immigrant Movement.
Massachusetts Jobs With Justice.
Cambridge United for Justice with Peace.
Merrimack Valley Project. Massachusetts.
New Lynn Coalition, Massachusetts.
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha CTUL. Minneapolis.
El Centro del Inmigrante, New York.
Staten Island Immigrants Council.
Chicago Worker’s Collaborative. Illinois.
Taj James, Movement Strategy Center. Oakland, California.
Latina Center MARIA. California.
San Francisco Living Wage Coalition.
Central American Refugee Committee (CRECE). California.
Dorothy P. Wonder, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Berkeley, California.
Bay Area Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, California.
Pomona Economic Opportunity Center, California.
Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance.
Freedom University. Atlanta, Georgia.
Project South, Atlanta, Georgia.
Dignidad Inmigrante, Athens, Georgia.
Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition AIRC, Georgia.
Economic Justice Coalition, Athens, Georgia.
U-Lead Athens, Georgia.
Northwest Arkansas Workers Justice Center (NWAWJC), Arkansas.
Vermont Workers’ Center. Vermont.