Upcoming Events

Feb. 7- Charlottesville City Council to vote on resolution opposing anti-immigrant legislation in the General Assembly
7:00 pm- (sign up to speak at 6:30)- Charlottesville City Hall on the Downtown Mall at 7th and East Main Streets, Charlottesville, Va.

Feb. 8- Crossover Day
All day long! General Assembly Building, 9th St. and Broad St., Richmond Va

Feb. 8- “Don’t Let Virginia Become the Next Arizona” Discussion and Action
7:00 pm- Community Mennonite Church, 70 S. High St., Harrisonburg, Va.

 
Feb. 13- Community Dinner announcing the Southwood Alliance/Alianza Southwood
6:00 pm- Southwood Community Center- Hickory St., Scottsville, Va. (in the Southwood Trailer Park off of Old Lynchburg Rd.)

Feb. 23 – “Know Your Rights” discussion about the rights of undocumented and documented immigrants
4:30 pm- Random Row Bookstore, 315 W. Main St., Charlottesville, Va.

March 2- March and Rally for Immigrants Rights
Time and Location to be announced soon, Charlottesville, Va.

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Moving Forward

Last Friday, the Ku Klux Klan met to discuss… errr… we mean the House of Delegates Courts of Justice Special Sub-Committee #3- Immigration met to discuss all of the bills pertaining to immigration.

The committee is packed with delegates who are supporters and patrons of all of the anti-immigrant bills originating in the house. Folks in opposition to the legislation had their work cut out for them before even arriving, with a large crowd of supporters in attendance, and an extremely closed minded right wing committee, to try to convince them to do the right thing.

Almost needless to say, the committee approved the bulk of the bills and they will be sent to the floor of the House of Delegates for a vote. This means our fight is not over!

First- we need to get some press about this committee meeting and what votes are headed to the floor. This means we need your help! Writing letters to the editor, sharing on facebook, and forwarding press releases are all ways you can help spread the word.

Next- We need everyone to contact their delegates and tell them to vote against all of the racist anti-immigrant bills. We’ll have material you can copy and paste in the next few days, but go ahead and send your opinion to your delegate just click here.

And- We can start now finding ways to creatively address the problem- one thing you can do is contact your local government and get them involved. We have a sample draft resolution in opposition to the bills you can copy and paste from here. Drop us a line if this is something you can do! Even if a resolution isn’t passed, you may be able to get some of your local elected officials to get active on these issues. We can also start planning for visible demonstrations of opposition, for that we really need to hear from you! Some immigrant communities are organizing to respond to this issue, but also to prepare for the worst- get involved, every locality has resources for folks to get involved in outreach and organizing in the immigrant community.

After the House votes, Crossover Day happens, this is when bills from the House move to the Senate, and vice versa. This is a good time to contact legislators and voice your opinion, show up at the General Assembly and be heard! From there we do the same thing- get into the committee meetings where these bills will be discussed. This may ultimately be our best shot at stopping this nonsense(!), but it will require a lot of letter writing, contacting Senators, and putting public pressure on them before the committee meets.

So that is what needs to happen- but none of this will happen unless you get involved! Please contact us as soon as possible, there are a lot of human beings out there counting on your help!

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Local Governments Considering Resolutions Opposing Anti-Immigrant Bills

People around the state are moving to get their local governments to weigh in on the proposed racist anti-immigrant legislation moving steadily through the House of Delegates.

On Monday, February 7, the Charlottesville City Council will vote on a resolution opposing the bad bills. A local activist offered them a draft based on the one posted here on the Virginia United Against Oppression website. The council will rearrange the wording, but seem prepared to pass the resolution unanimously. Anyone in the Charlottesville area is encouraged to attend the Monday meeting and speak in favor of this resolution.

Norfolk City Council has received a similar draft of a resolution and we are eagerly waiting to hear what they think. While they may not pass something unanimously, we think the resolution has a good shot at happening.

Richmond City Council, as well, will be receiving a draft resolution in the coming days and again, we hope to hear good things from them!

We Want You to bring this issue to the attention of your local government, please contact us if you can help- we’ve made it easy for you!

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Special Sub-Committee on Immigration Fri. 1/28- All Out!

All of the bills related to immigration in the House of Delegates have been sent to the House Courts of Justice Special Sub-Committee #3- Immigration. This committee will be meeting THIS FRIDAY at 12:00 NOON in “HOUSE ROOM C”.

The committee is made up of the patrons of the racist anti-immigrant bills and may more closely resemble a Ku Klux Klan meeting than a form of representative government. Here is what they will be discussing:

  • HB 1420 Immigration laws; State Police to enter into agreement with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
  • HB 1421 Immigration laws, federal; enforcement by State, political subdivisions, or localities.
  • HB 1430 Arresting officer to ascertain citizenship of arrestee; supplements existing law.
  • HB 1465 Higher educational institutions; admission of illegal aliens.
  • HB 1468 Citizenship or legal presence required for public assistance; verification required.
  • HB 1482 Driver’s license; use of birth registration cards to obtain.
  • HB 1574 Mandatory self-identification; failure to identify oneself to law-enforcement officer.
  • HB 1651 Driver’s licenses, permits, and special identification cards; issuance only to U.S. citizens.
  • HB 1727 Virginia Fair Employment Act; certain public contractors, etc., to enroll in E-Verify Program.
  • HB 1775 Immigration status; parent enrolling student in public school must indicate citizenship.
  • HB 1859 Public Procurement Act; state agencies to include in contract that contractor use E-Verify program.
  • HB 1895 Illegal immigrants; docmument verfication for employment, penalty for false representation.
  • HB 1914 E-Verify program; requires Virginia Employment Commission to use.
  • HB 1934 Immigration laws; State Police to enter into agreement with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
  • HB 2153 Tuition, in-state; unlawfully present aliens in U.S. shall not be eligible.
  • HB 2332 Citizenship of arrestee; arresting officer to ascertain.
  • HB 2333 E-Verify program; preference given to services, etc., by persons for employees who work in State.

We Need As Many People As Possible To Show Up To These Committee Meetings!

Friday, January 28 at 12:00 Noon in “House Room C”

Contact Us if you can be there- it is easy and you can make a difference!

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E-Verify/VEC Bill SB 789- killed in committee!

A major success in the struggle to stop anti-immigrant bills in the General Assembly.

SB 789- which required E-verify, through the Department of Homeland Security, to check the residency status of all people using the Virginia Employment Commission, has been “passed by indefinitely”. Meaning the bill is dead in committee, and won’t be an issue this session.

The state senators on the committee heard from a lot of people about this, and likely it factored into their decision. Thanks to all who responded to our call for contacting Senate Commerce and Labor committee members about this legislation! Keep up the good work, we have a long way to go, but this is a big victory and means we have a good shot at stopping all of these bills one way or another.

Stay tuned to Virginia United Against Oppression for updates on the week’s hearings and committees- we always need people able to be in Richmond to attend hearings, sometimes on short notice, drop us a line if that can be you!

 

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Heading into Next Week!

Last Week 1/17-1/21 legislation moved quickly into various committees, sub-committees and onto the floor of House of Delegates. HB 1475 (one of the good bills) passed but in an altered way without including the brain injury language. It does include the fact that if a worker is killed or unable to testify, etc it will be presumed to be work related. HB 1509 (protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation) may die in committee, So Get to Work!

Del. David Toscano and Del. Joe Morrissey both took a strong stand on opposing a change to the State Constitution on the floor of the House of Delegates, HJ 500 (adds “right to work” to the constitution) headed for a hearing and may die in committee if we help keep the pressure up along with Del Toscano and Del Morrissey.

Bills pertaining to immigration in the House of Delegates have all been sent to Courts of Justice Sub-Committee #3: Immigration and will be a hot topic next week.

We have much work to do this coming week 1/24-1/28. Numerous hearings are scheduled, and you can be there! Contact us if you can attend any of these hearings or committee meetings:

MONDAY 1/24:

SB 789 (Sen. Watkins) E-Verify program; requires Virginia Employment Commission to use. (Will impact referrals from VEC as well as defining E-Verify) Hearing In Commerce and Labor Committee 1/24 CALL SENATORS NOW!!! Especially: Saslaw (Chairman), Colgan, Miller, Y.B., Wampler, Norment, Stosch, Edwards, Watkins, Wagner, Newman, Puckett, Puller, Herring, McEachin, Deeds Contact Us If You Can Be There 1/24

SB 759 (Sen. Reynolds) Workers’ compensation; compensable consequences. (Makes it harder for employees to defend themselves and adds the ability of an employer to place blame on employee for “secondary” injuries. Shortens the window for the process for the employee as well to file appeal) Hearing 1/24 Contact Us To Help!

TUESDAY 1/25:

HJ 500 (Del Bell) Constitutional amendment; right to work. (Would force this out as a balloting initiative, not necessary because language exists in state statute) Hearing 1/25 Contact Us If You Can Be There

WEDNESDAY 1/26:

SB 812 (Sen. Martin) Virginia Freedom of Information Act; access to salary information, etc., of public employees. (Excludes the name of any employee including officials from disclosure) Hearing 1/26 Contact Us If You Can Be There

Stay up to speed on legislation by visiting “The Bills” on our site. Stay tuned for more action that can be taken and make sure you call or write your legislators, write a letter to your local newspaper, talk to your church or civic group, and let us know how you can help!

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Your town opposes bad legislation!- here’s a sample

As we move into more awareness of these issues, hopefully local governments will weigh in opposing bad legislation in General Assembly, and by doing so they can raise more awareness.

We are currently working on resolutions in Charlottesville, Norfolk, Richmond, and Harrisonburg…will your town be next?

here’s a sample, fill in the blanks and shorten or add to it as needed.

A RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE [CITY/COUNTY] OF [Name of Locality], VIRGINIA [Governmental Body]’S OPPOSITION TO PENDING VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY LEGISLATION: HB 1468, HB 1420, HB 1421, HB 1482, HB 1574, HB 1465, HB 1775

WHEREAS, the [Name of Locality] [Governmental Body] recognizes that all people living or working in Virginia are entitled to respect and inalienable human rights regardless of residency status; and

WHEREAS, undocumented people in the Commonwealth held in detention on immigration offenses are often held for more than 8 months while awaiting deportation; and

WHEREAS, undocumented people living in the [City/County] of [Name of locality] should not be imprisoned or denigrated simply for existing as human beings without legal residency; and

WHEREAS, the [City/County] of [Name of locality] remains a safer community when all people have access to affordable higher education, public services, public education, drivers licenses, and gainful employment; and

WHEREAS, the [City/County] of [Name of locality] is better able to protect and serve it’s communities when aware of federal investigations and immigration raids and when all people, regardless of residency status, can communicate with law enforcement and public agencies without fear of arrest, deportation and imprisonment; and

WHEREAS, legislation in the Virginia General Assembly is being proposed which puts state and local police, as well as school administrators, and public servants in the position of enforcing federal immigration law while simultaneously restricting localities from witness and oversight of federal immigration enforcement, denies public services, and education to undocumented people; and

WHEREAS, such legislation presents an undue financial burden on Virginia’s localities and taxpayers, invites racial profiling, destroys families, and makes our communities less safe; and

WHEREAS, a clear attempt at greatly restricting the freedom, well being, and human rights of undocumented people, in our communities and our local government can be surmised when all bills being proposed in the Virginia General Assembly pertaining to undocumented people are considered as a whole; and

WHEREAS, such assault on human rights amounts to repression and is motivated by racism, xenophobia, or political grandstanding; and

WHEREAS, human beings can only perform illegal actions, hence, no human being can rightly be deemed illegal simply for existing.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE [CITY/COUNTY] [GOVERNMENTAL BODY] OF THE [CITY/COUNTY] OF [NAME of LOCALITY], VIRGINIA:

SECTION 1. The [City/County] [Governmental Body] of [Name of locality] expresses it’s strong opposition to Virginia General Assembly bills: HB 1468, HB 1420, HB 1421, HB 1482, HB 1574, HB 1465, and HB 1775.

SECTION 2. The [City/County] [Governmental Body] of [Name of locality] expresses it’s strong opposition to any legislation containing similar language and substance of the aforementioned bills upon consolidation, amendment, or change of bill number.

SECTION 3. The [City/County] [Governmental Body] of [Name of locality] calls on all members of the Virginia General Assembly, the Governor, and Virginia’s Congressional Delegation to actively seek to defeat the aforementioned legislation.

SECTION 4. The [City/County] [Governmental Body] of [Name of locality], its elected leaders, and its citizens have a responsibility to highlight the implications of the proposed legislation pertaining to the rights and treatment of undocumented people living in the Commonwealth.

ADOPTED by the [City/County] [Governmental Body] of the [City/County] of [Name of locality], Virginia this day of    , 2011.
[Name], [Mayor/Chair], [City/County] [Governmental Body] of [Name of Locality]

[signature]

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