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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

SOY HOMBRE

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Captb18c239f1b5e44ffa384353e826099eThis has been an emotional week here in my hometown of Memphis. The world's attention was focused on a relatively modest building on a quiet street downtown that was the site of one of the saddest events of the 20th century - the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the assassination, presidential candidates, civil rights movement legends, the children of the slain leader and ordinary folks from around the world gathered at the Lorraine Motel here to commemorate the day. The building has quite appropriately been transformed into the wonderful National Civil Rights Museum, well worth the visit to Memphis (though it's the house of another king that draws most tourist to our city).



Two years ago this week I blogged from the National Civil Rights Museum when supporters of immigration rallied here in Memphis (as groups around the country did on that day). The link between the struggle of immigrants and the civil rights struggle in this country is long standing and I was pleased to see the Soy Hombre signs yesterday during the anniversary march here in Memphis.



For those of you not familiar with the details of the King assassination, MLK was in Memphis supporting striking sanitation workers. The working conditions of those workers was abysmal and after two workers were killed by a malfunctioning trash compressor, the workers decided that was the last straw.  Aside from the tragedy that led to the end of the strike, the workers are also remembered today for the picket signs they carried that read "I am a Man". The simple point they conveyed was that they were human beings who deserved to be treated with basic dignity.



Iamaman



Immigrants carrying the Spanish translation of that sign, "Soy Hombre" are also asking for nothing else than to be treated as human beings. Anti-immigrant groups have tried to dehumanize the illegally present immigrant population with much success. Yesterday's commemoration in Memphis was a little reminder of another era where man's inhumanity to his fellow man left a permanent scar on the country.

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Comments

  1. USC's Avatar
    San Francisco upsets the hate group FAIR:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/06/us/06immig.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    "I guess it's what you expect from San Francisco," said Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform in Washington, which lobbies for stronger immigration enforcement. "But now, not only are they helping people break the law of the federal government, they are advertising it. I don't know of any other city actually looking for illegal immigrants."
  2. George Chell's Avatar
    FAIR is a RACIST organization and Dan Stein is a RACIST.
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    And with a little bit of luck your hometown of Memphis will have a NCAA Basketball Champions come tuesday morning!
  4. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    We hope. Everyone in the city is celebrating tonight.
  5. Ali's Avatar
    "The simple point they conveyed was that they were human beings who deserved to be treated with basic dignity."

    People who want to be treated with dignity should treat others the same way, and violating the laws of a country to enter illegally and to work illegally is not dignified. If you have to bend over to sneak into a country, you're not "dignified". If you have to lie and cheat, you're not "dignified".
  6. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Ali - Why don't we just kill them then?
  7. Spike SC's Avatar
    I know this is older, but Ali's comments are EXEMPLARY of WHY people like MLK get assasinated. Dignity is something all human beings deserve because they are human beings, not because they behave a certain way or follow certain rules (or have certain skin color or language skills.)
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