Our VoiceCulture

Florida Victory and Other Highlights This Week

April Callen • May 03, 2013

Today is the last day of recess for the United States Congress; they return to Washington, DC on Monday, May 6th. The Senate Gang of Eight’s immigration bill remains in committee, with senators having until next Tuesday, May 7th to file amendments.

The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) has scheduled a meeting on Thursday, May 9th to begin the markup process. SJC chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has said he expects “dozens of amendments could be filed, so several subsequent markup dates have been scheduled: May 14, May 16, May 20, and any time after that may be needed to finish the legislation.”

One of the expected amendments to the bill that could greatly alter support and impact on those affected by the legislation is the prospect of an amendment for same-sex couples, which Senator Leahy has promised to offer. The amendment would allow “gay Americans to sponsor their foreign-born partners for green cards, just as heterosexual couples can.”

While next week’s updates on the immigration reform bill will most likely raise the ire of anti-immigrant activists and legislators who have actively fought against attempts at comprehensive immigration reform, this week has seen its own share of successes – for the immigrant rights movement and against efforts of the Islamophobia movement.

dispelling the anti-immigrant movement’s history of attempting to link immigrants and progressive immigration reform to having a negative impact on the environment.

An intense campaign in Florida to stop the passing of a David Yerushalmi-drafted anti-Sharia legislation saw victory last night, as the polarizing bill fell one vote short of passing.

In not so victorious news, Pamela Geller and AFDI released an 18-point platform to “defend freedom” from Islam. The proposal includes surveillance, profiling, and officially redefining “jihad” to fit their Islamophobic interpretation.

And on a positive note, this year’s May Day, or International Workers’ Day, continued the more recent tradition of celebrating the day to march in support of immigrant rights and immigration reform. Cities across the country witnessed thousands march and challenge Congress to pass legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship and protection from unjust detentions.


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