Filipino American Youth March on International Workers’ Day to Demand Education and Legalization for All

Press Statement
May 1, 2009
Reference: Melissa Reyes, Vice Chair, LFS-SFSU, email: lfs.sfsu@gmail.com

Photo: Darah Macaraeg

Photo: Darah Macaraeg

Photo: Darah Macaraeg

Photo: Darah Macaraeg

Filipino American Youth March on International Workers’ Day to Demand Education and Legalization for All

San Francisco—The League of Filipino Students-SFSU Chapter proudly recognizes this powerful day as youth and students march in heart and breath through the streets alongside the toiling immigrants and workers of the world. We march to staunchly condemn the criminalization and separation of immigrant families and demand genuine immigration reform from the new Obama administration.

This past election year, we saw the collective strength youth had in deciding the future of this country. Youth, coast to coast, demanded change from the horrid policies of the past eight years. Bush’s “War on Terror” and broken immigration policy created a climate of fear and intimidation towards this country’s immigrant community. With the new Obama administration, we are determined to turn our “hope” into action and ensure that genuine “change” comes in the form of a revamped immigration system.

As the mounting California fiscal deficit continues to make education unaffordable through tuition fee increases, undocumented youth and students face a limited if not completely inaccessible education merely because of their citizenship status. There have been attempts to pass the DREAM Act, which would ensure undocumented students access to higher education. However, various stipulations have hijacked the original intent of the bill by including military recruitment. This only supports the argument that our government desires to see poor and immigrant students holding guns overseas rather than pencils in the classroom.

We, as Filipino American students, are in a position to be vocal about social justice and demand immigrant rights. As children of or immigrants ourselves, we know immigrants are not to blame for the economic chaos we see today. The government continues to spend billions on war and Wall Street bailouts while conditions for workers worsen due to job loss and the rolling back of basic services. Day-to-day, we bare witness to the economic and social hardships that plague immigrant communities, all in the name of an “American Dream” that places blame on our families for its own inherit shortcomings.

This International Workers’ Day, we remind everyone that legality doesn’t determine one’s contribution to this country and that true change comes from mass action of the people.


PASS THE DREAM ACT WITHOUT MILITARY TIES!
EDUCATION FOR ALL!
CREATE A JUST AND HUMANE IMMIGRATION SYSTEM NOW!
NO HUMAN BEING IS ILLEGAL!

###

Photo: Darah Macaraeg

Photo: Darah Macaraeg

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