Thursday, April 27, 2006

CFA takes a stand

The California Faculty Association sent me an email saying the CFA endorsed the following resolution.
Resolution in Support of Immigrant Rights
Latina/Latino Caucus, African American Caucus, Affirmative Action Council, Education Caucus, Peace & Justice Committee, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Caucus and Women’s Caucus

The California Faculty Association


  1. CFA supports worker struggles,
  2. Immigrant’s rights are civil and human rights.
  3. Proposed legislation intends to criminalize undocumented workers, and those who assist them and,
  4. Intends to increase the budget for security at the expense of essential public services such as health care, housing and education.
  5. Political, religious, lay, and labor organizations have spoken publicly in defense of immigrants’ rights.
  6. Students, at the forefront of the immigrant movement, are our present and future constituents and are our nation’s future leaders, and voters.

Therefore be it resolved that, we the members of the Latina/Latino Caucus, African American Caucus, the Women’s Caucus, the Council for Affirmative Action, the Peace and Justice Committee, and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Caucus, call on CFA Assembly to,

  • Endorse this resolution, and to urge its members and supporters to participate in the forthcoming general actions they deem appropriate in support of immigrants (e.g., boycotts, teach-ins, etc) on May 1;
  • Condemn the punitive and dismissive response of federal, state and local governments to the just demands of immigrants;
  • Urge its members to participate in appropriate activities and work in coalition with union and community partners to demonstrate our support on campus and off, for immigrant rights, and our opposition to anti-immigrant actions and other similar legislation.
  • Urge CFA chapters to provide support for campus activities of faculty, students, and staff to educate the campus community about just immigration policies.

Passed on April 23, Spring Assembly of the California Faculty Association, Los Angeles, CA, California
Although I favor positive treatment of undocumented workers, this resolution doesn't do that cause much good. It links the issue to issues of other minorities. This is a different issue and should be treated differently.

It seems to me that one reason we are having so much difficulty handling this issue is that we see only two options: open the gates to citizenship to anyone who manages to get into the country in any way at all vs. build big walls. The European Union has a third option: open borders but not open citizenship. In the EU it's fairly easy to move from one country to another and then to work in the second country—although it seems to be getting harder. But moving into a country doesn't grant citizenship. One remains a citizen of one's home country. Why can't we do the same thing? A so-called guest worker program intends to achieve this, but it is so rigid and forbidding that it appears unworkable. Why not allow open borders but simply insist that visitors are not citizens unless they go through whatever our citizenship process is?

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