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Letter from Puente and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network

Dear Rev. Morales:

Thank you for consulting Puente Arizona and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) about your General Assembly scheduled for Phoenix in 2012. It is important that we all act together as we work to overturn SB1070 and the climate of hatred directed at the migrant, indigenous, and communities of color in Arizona. We were encouraged that you and your Moderator Gini Courter joined us at the May 29th march along with over fifty UU [Unitarian Universalist] clergy and 500 Unitarian Universalists. The UU Churches of Phoenix and Tucson and others in Arizona have been important allies in our struggle. The Standing on the Side of Love with immigrant families campaign has touched our hearts and we would like to invite you to join the Alto Arizona (Stop Arizona) movement that local community groups have formed in response to this unjust legislation. Puente represents ten organized barrios in the Phoenix area and is an affiliate of the National Day Laborers Organizing Network. We have been at the forefront of defending our community here in Maricopa County these many years and what has been a terrible situation has now become a nightmare.

Since the passage of SB 1070, community responses have taken on many forms from civil disobedience to civic engagement. The boycott of the state is a key piece of the overall strategy to turn the tide in Arizona. At the same time, local movements call for solidarity from partners across the country. We welcome people who answer our call to come to stand with us against injustice and the criminalization of our communities as we did on May 29th, as we will do again on July 29th, the day the law goes into effect, and throughout Arizona Human Rights Summer.

We invite you to transform your General Assembly scheduled for June, 2012 in Phoenix into a Unitarian Universalist convergence for human rights in Arizona. We urge you to call UUs across the country to support the movement on the ground here in Arizona and to coordinate your activities with Puente and NDLON.

There will still be much to witness about in 2012. While SB1070 may be overturned by then, we anticipate that there will still be a terrible situation to deal with here in Arizona. The Ethnic Studies legislation that was recently passed needs to be overturned and there is currently proposed legislation that would mandate that children born in the U.S. of undocumented parents not be accepted as citizens. Meanwhile Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others will continue to deputize volunteers eager to enforce immigration law and terrorize our community. We need the faith community here to stand in solidarity with our movement and to galvanize others to condemn this growing human rights crisis and create a climate that welcomes and supports migratory families.

We ask that your 2012 General Assembly here in Phoenix be a convergence in cooperation with us and that together we design the best ways that UUs can witness, learn from, take action, and serve the movement here. We all know that 2012 is an important election year when voices of compassion and justice must be heard. But please don’t wait until then to join us. The May 29th march was just a start. On July 29th we are asking all people of conscience and faith to join us for a Day of Non-Compliance with SB1070 and to join the Arizona Human Rights Summer.

We further ask that you join us in our immediate efforts to have President Obama end the wrongful enforcement strategy by issuing an executive order that reasserts exclusive federal authority to enforce immigration laws and ends any state and local police/immigration collaboration.

There is so much to be done—from speaking out, to engaging in civil disobedience, to fundraising for organizers, to meeting with lawmakers and more. In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we must peacefully escalate our movement for human rights.

Again, Puente and NDLON are glad to welcome Unitarian Universalists to support us here in Arizona. Please accept our invitation to join us now and in 2012. We understand that your religious community is grappling with the best course of action. Salvador Reza would like to come to your General Assembly in Minneapolis to extend this invitation personally to the Unitarian Universalist community.

In solidarity,

Salvador Reza,
Puente Movement, Phoenix, Arizona

Pablo Alvarado, Director,
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)

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Last updated on Thursday, June 10, 2010.

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