July 26, 2008 By Peter Rachleff
In April 2006, hundreds of thousands of immigrant rights protestors marched in cities across the United States. They countered prolonged debates about the pros and cons of comprehensive immigration reform with a short but sweet affirmation, scrawled on placards: “No Human Being Is Illegal.” Their direct assertion challenged the deeply entrenched practices of our government and a deep wellspring of racism in our culture. Their actions also evoked traditions of protest, organization, and resistance.
The stories of exploitation, abuse, and disrespect have disturbed those of us participating in these organizing efforts. We have also found inspiration and hope from history and from each other. Most of all, we cannot stand idle while the state, greedy employers, and racist organizations and individuals act in our name. It’s time for all of us to march with those immigrant rights signs: “No Human Being Is Illegal!”