April 1: Organize a National Movement of Non-Compliance with the "Welfare Reform Law" and All Anti-Immigrant Legislation

Revolutionary Worker #900, March 30, 1997

We, the undersigned, call on social workers, health care providers, the religious community, students, lawyers, artists, musicians, union members, activists and all concerned people to refuse to comply with the "Welfare Reform Law" and all anti-immigrant legislation, and to protest all other attacks on immigrants. As April 1 is both the effective date of many provisions of the new welfare law and the first anniversary of the beating of the undocumented immigrants by the Riverside Sheriffs in southern California, we designate it as a day of non-cooperation and protest of the persecution of people from other countries.

Food stamps, Supplemental Security Income for disabled children and adults, rent subsidies, public housing, Medicaid and many other social services will all be cut off for immigrants. The implementation of this dangerous legislation will cause hundreds of thousands of our sisters and brothers to face hunger, homelessness, and disease. By law, the government is attempting to force health care and social service providers to act as agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Many social service providers are now required to report undocumented immigrants to the INS so they can be arrested and deported. Other new laws will mean that hundreds of thousands who have been in the United States "legally" are now subject to deportation. WE SAY NO!

All people, regardless of their country of origin or their legal status, have a right to survival and social services. Being an immigrant is not a crime. Human life is more important than laws. Therefore, we call on social service and health care providers to pledge to act independently of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and other federal agencies, find the ways to provide all services to all immigrants in need of help, and refuse to report the undocumented to the INS.

We call on people to mark April 1 with diverse activities in schools, churches, clinics, welfare offices, union halls, and communities throughout the country. Organize speak outs, prayer vigils, concerts, demonstrations, press conferences, poetry readings, and rallies. This day must unite us in all our diversity and bring our strengths together. We will express our determination not to comply with the "Welfare Reform Law" and new anti-immigrant laws and affirm our commitment to support those who put themselves on the line through non-compliance.

Full Medical, Social, and Educational Services for All

No one is Illegal--We Are All Sisters and Brothers

We Won't Collaborate--We Won't Cooperate

No Denial of Rights and Services Based on Legal Status

The initial signatories include:

  • Rev. Juan M. Alers, Pastor, Sacred Heart Church*; Oakdale, LA
  • Alexandria House, Judy Vaughan <196> Coordinator; Los Angeles, CA
  • The American-Arab Relations Committee; New York, NY
  • Salvador Balcorta, Chief Executive Officer, Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe*; El Paso, TX
  • Humberto Camacho, International Representative to the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers (UE) Local 1421, Compton, CA
  • Cynthia M. Cano, Representative, San Antonio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild; San Antonio, TX
  • Sr. Marie Danaher, OP, Executive Director, Intercommunity Center for Justice and Peace*; New York, NY
  • Abelardo B. Delgado, Barrio Publications; Arvada, CO
  • Antonio Díaz; San Antonio, TX
  • Annica Gorham and Daniela Leal, members, Latina Coalition, University of Houston*; Houston, TX
  • Sister Frances T. Hagan; Brentwood, NY
  • Immigrant Workers Association, Miguel Maldonado - Coordinator; NY, NY
  • Sister Elizabeth Johnson, Congregation of St. Joseph; Brentwood, NY
  • Lenwood E. Johnson, President, and Wessie Syrus, Secretary, Residents Council of Allen Parkway Village*; Houston, TX
  • Ana M. Juneau, Esquire; NY, NY
  • La Resistencia
  • Dick Laird, attorney, activist; Los Angeles, CA
  • Latina Coalition, University of Houston*; Houston, TX
  • Nephtalí De León, poet/painter; San Antonio, TX
  • Los Angeles Catholic Worker; Los Angeles, CA
  • María Piedad López and José Palafox, students, University of California at Berkeley*; Berkeley, CA
  • Andres Mares, Ayuda Institute; El Paso, TX
  • Jaime P. Martínez; Secretary, IUE-AFL-CIO - District Eleven; Labor Coordinator for Coordinadora '96;
    San Antonio, TX
  • Joan M. Maruskin, United Methodist Minister, Coordinator of People of the Golden Vision; Stewartstown, PA
  • Travis Morales, La Resistencia; Houston, TX
  • Minister Robert Muhammad, Nation of Islam*; Houston, TX
  • Rev. A. Park, S.J., St. Philip Neri Church; Kinder, LA
  • People of the Golden Vision
  • Radio Chicano/a, John Martínez, producer, Pacifica Radio-KPFK*; Los Angeles, CA
  • Refuse & Resist!
  • Rodolfo Rosales, professor, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio*; San Antonio, TX
  • Pattie and Vic Scutari, first business owners to publicly defy I-9 requirements of the Simpson-Rodino Law; Massachusetts
  • Donald L. Smith, Los Angeles Coordinator of the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights*; Los Angeles, CA
  • Tex-Oma (Texas-Oklahoma) Region of the National Lawyers Guild
  • Rev. Dr. Farley W. Wheelwright, retired minister; Boston, MA
  • Ximena Urrutia-Rojas, Dr.P.H.; Houston, TX
  • *For identification purposes only. Does not necessarily constitute organizational or institutional endorsement of the call.

    Please endorse this call and distribute, post and publish everywhere! Funds are quickly needed to organize April 1. We urge you to immediately send donations. All actions on April 1 should be publicized and popularized. Please write or call the La Resistencia National Office with news of activities in your area: P.O. Box 2823, Houston, TX 77252-2823. (713) 521-3099

    This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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