International Migrant's Day is around the corner, and I want to make sure you know about it.(download poster by clicking here)
One way we can fight the anti-immigrant hate that dominates the headlines, is by celebrating migrants and supporting their fight for justice.
Whether it's someone in your family who recently migrated (or even came a long time ago, like my parents), or a DREAMer youth who you have long admired (like the Trail of Dreams), or even someone who works in your building or your favorite restaurant, that worlwide special day when you can celebrate them is close.
So let's spread the word about it, because folks in this country hardly know it exists and we are coming up on the 10th anniversary!
Celebrating migrants is crucial during these highly troubling times, when conservatives are spewing out anti-immigrant and anti-Latino sentiment, and passing laws that are causing great suffering in our communities.
In the U.S. media, migrant's are consistently framed as "taking" from Americans, as a "drain' on resources. But the truth is that migrants make this country run, they literally feed the country (as noted by the amount of migrant labor in the meat industry and agriculture), and make it so that Americans' can have their cheap lifestyle.
And if we take it beyond the borders of the this country, the story grows more powerful. Migrant labor is sustaining the entire hemisphere. The amount of money sent back to Latin American home countries accounts for #1 or #2 exports in most cases, and migrant dollars exceed foreign aid year after year. That is some real economic power.
Yet those stories are rarely told, and so it's up to each of us to celebrate, honor, and show gratitude to the millions of migrant workers that make this country go. Join migrants’ rights supporters throughout the world in protest of abuse and discrimination against migrants, as well as in celebration of their lives.
Ten years ago, on December 4th, 2000, the United Nations proclaimed December 18 International Migrants Day.
2010 is also special because it's the 20th Anniversary of of the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Approved by the United Nations General Assembly on December 18, 1990, the Migrant Workers Convention (MWC) entered into force in 2003; to date, 44 countries have approved the Convention.
My friends at the National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights have put together a great list on how you can celebrate locally and make it a day of action. I've added some things as well. Suggested activities include: