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Month of July, 2009

Made in L.A. makes a mark at the FIA-UGT Union National Conference in Spain

The organizers of the V Congress of the FIA-UGT union recently asked to screen a clip of Made in L.A. and for me to speak about the film. FIA-UGT, one of the two largest unions in Spain, represents 79,000 workers in mining, textiles, energy and chemicals, and so the film connected with the experiences of many of its members. In the 10-minute webcam interview that I sent them, I spoke about the issues in the film and about the ways in which the experiences of immigrant workers in the US resemble emerging trends in Spain. I was truly happy that the Conference, which brought together hundreds of organizers from all over Spain, decided to feature the film and the issues in it, especially because of the difficult situation that immigrant workers now face in a Spain that was particularly hit with the economic crisis...

I was impacted when I saw the photos: "my image" speaking to hundreds of attendees in huge hall!

United Methodist Task Force on Immigration promotes congregation-based screenings of Made in L.A.

The United Methodist Task Force on Immigration has endorsed Made in L.A. for viewing by congregations nationwide as a means of introducing and promoting dialogue on issues of immigration and justice in the United States. The task force has also prepared a study guide and other educational materials for use in relation to local showings.

Bishop Minerva Carcaño of Phoenix, Arizona, chair of the task force, says that the story in the film "beautifully illustrates the courage, perseverance, and strength that these women show daily in caring for their families, contributing to their communities, organizing to overcome exploitation, and building a life that is both inspiring and challenging." "In the end, these women discover the power of their collective voice as they stand together in unity against exploitation... After watching Made in LA, I know you and your church will be inspired to join in the movement for comprehensive immigration reform," the bishop writes in the introduction.

For details and the entire announcement, click here.

Bad week for immigration reform -call for action!

"This was not a good week for immigration reform", reports La Opinión. "The Obama Administration continues adding to the domestic pressure by handing down more controversial decisions ...The Department of Homeland Security expanded the 287(g) Program so that there are 11 more localities in the country where police will help capture and remove individuals that are considered "dangerous criminal aliens." The problem is that the new agreement doesn't guarantee an end to the abuses committed in violation of the federal guidelines by local police and sheriffs when they arrest peaceful laborers instead".

At the same time, Congress is passing "measures that continues the piecemeal approach to immigration policy and puts comprehensive reform at further risk by taking away important issues that could be used in the negotiations for a just and fair reform." (read the full article here)

The Reform Immigration for America Campaign is calling for action: "This week, we need to make sure that Senators hear directly from you. What the nation needs is a comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken immigration system. Sideshow amendments like the ones added to the Senate Homeland Security appropriations bill are distractions and potential obstacles to real solutions that the vast majority of Americans are calling for. The Campaign sent out targeted alerts both for Senators who voted conscientiously, and for Senators who chose bad politics over good immigration policy."

Because Made in L.A. portrays the struggle of many undocumented workers, a humane immigration reform is one of the key actions we hope the film helps spark. We're following closely all the developments of this important legislation so that millions of people in this country, like the women in the film, can live their lives with dignity in this country. Take action now! Send a fax to Congress in support of a comprehensive immigration reform!

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