Invitation to attend Historic Summit on Immigration Reform

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For the last four years I have been inactive politically, putting my activism on hold in order to write two books, “Global Capitalist Crisis and the Second Great Depression: Egalitarian Systemic Models for Change,” published in 2012, and my forthcoming work, “What Needs to be Done! Mexicano Latino/Politics in the 21st Century: The Quest for Self Determination.” This year, attentive to the turbulent winds of immigration reform politics, I once again return to the arena of activism. Of all the summits and conferences that I have ever organized related to the issue of immigration, this by far is the most important because of the consequences it holds for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in these United States.

For many years the National Alliance for Human Rights, which I headed, was active in the struggle for social justice and ensuring the human rights for Mexicanos and Latinos, especially the undocumented. Now in 2013, it is the students enrolled in my “Chicano Contemporary Issues” (Ethnic Studies 132) class who are acting as the organizing force for holding the historically unprecedented “National Leadership Summit on Immigration Reform.” As a “practicum in political change” they have organized into a student led “Alliance for Immigration Reform” (AIR). As their faculty advisor, I have overseen their organizing of this momentous event, to be held at the University of California, Riverside on March 16, at Highlander Union Building, from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Hundreds of individuals from divergent sectors, organizations, and communities from throughout the country, who are committed to the struggle for achieving humane comprehensive immigration reform, will converge on March 16. The “general purpose” of the Summit is to present the most current policy information being put forth by Congress and the Obama Administration on immigration reform. The cardinal objectives are two: One, to present, debate, and seek to achieve a “policy position” on whatever is being proposed by the House and Obama, and/or to draft alternative legislation developed by the Summit participants; and Two, to formulate a strategic plan of action designed to advocate for whatever position the participants’ advance at the end of the Summit. Nowhere in the country is such an event being held, where pro-immigration reform leaders and advocates are gathering from every corner of the U.S. – Washington D.C.; Illinois, Texas, Colorado, Nuevo Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Arizona, California, and other states.

This is a propitious time to create a national movement to ensure humane immigration reform in 2013. Not since the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, which legalized some 3 million undocumented, has the country been at such a juncture when politically the forces are in place to once again achieve immigration reform. I personally invite and urge you to participate in this historic Summit. For the millions of undocumented who live “in a climate of fear” immigration reform is within their grasp; provided we close ranks, organize, and mobilize.

“Hasta La Victoria,”
Armando Navarro, Ph.D.
Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of California, Riverside