UNTIL ALL ACHIEVE WELL-BEING

Welcome to the Thursday, October 21, 2004 issue of this Peace&Justice action email!

The first consideration in this issue involves a Human Rights situation in Bolivia - you can use a typical web-based action to respond.

Secondly there is a quick report from Oxfam, thanking all who acted in support of the US to rejoin the International Coffee Organization, which is in process (this was a previous UWAA action).

The third consideration has caught me too swamped to know its full context - generally in such situations I simply let it slip by. But due to the drastic-sounding nature of its implications for US immigrants, and thus to a basic sense of American ethos, I have decided to include it for Americans to examine. I send it on the basis that if the situation were reversed, I would appreciate hearing from someone about some potential Canadian legislation that might alter my country's identity in ways that might bother me - I may or may not agree with the authors, but would be thankful for the chance to decide for myself. (As an aside, if there is someone from the US who might be willing to help out with US-based considerations, now would be a most welcome time to email me).

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DETENTION OF COLOMBIAN FARMER IN BOLIVIA

An appeal has come from Friends of the Earth International regarding a Colombian farmer who has been held in detention since April 2003. Under Bolivian law, after 18 months without a court hearing, such a person is to be freed. FOEI believes the person was wrongfully arrested in the first place and is looking for the international spotlight to ensure that since his legal term is up, that he is freed.

For Details and to Send an email:

http://www.foei.org/cyberaction/franciscocortes.php

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THANKS FROM OXFAM - THE U.S. TO AGAIN JOIN ICO

This could be a wonderful step forward in eventually helping to alleviate the international coffee crisis, which has devastated millions of coffee farmers.

Report:

www.oxfamamerica.org/newsandpublications/news_updates/news_update.2004-09-20.3125179243

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US MAY PASS REVISED ACT WITH SEVERE IMMIGRANT RESTRICTIONS

This appeal comes unedited from "United For Peace and Justice." To be transparent, it should be noted that this group has fairly heavy anti-Bush rhetoric and stances. Nonetheless, from a distance I find not only the proposed amendments to the legislation but also the process to be disturbing (though it will be noted below that the Washington Post also finds it disturbing). And thus, under the sentiment I expressed above, I simply pass it on for any Americans on this list, so they can examine it and decide for themselves, if not already aware of the full dynamics.

To me, it raises the basic question of where the dividing line is between reasonable steps for security and steps that cross over that line and unduly restrict liberty in trying to safeguard liberty.


ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
http://www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545
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Stop HR 10 Before Congress Expands the War on Immigrants!
Call Congress TODAY! See below for phone numbers
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In the past two weeks, right-wing members of Congress have tried to sneak horrible anti-immigrant measures past the public. These are not just any bills: If passed, they will be the biggest attack on immigrants in almost a decade.

Recently, both houses passed the "9/11 Commission Recommendations Implementation Act." The version passed in the House of Representatives -- HR 10 -- includes immigration amendments that were never part of the Commission's recommendations. Now, without further debate, against the wishes of the Commission, and with complete disregard for the rights of noncitizens, a group of 21 Senators and House members will conference behind closed doors and decide whether to keep the anti-immigrant amendments when it goes to President Bush to be signed into law.

HR 10 would strip the few rights that noncitizens enjoy under our Constitution, and tear millions more families apart. It would write into law inhumane practices the Department of Homeland Security has been using out of the public eye and would reverse the few, hard-fought gains in immigrant rights won over the last seven years. Specifically, the proposed law would:

- Deny immigrants the right to have a court review a deportation order--in effect, suspending habeas corpus for the first time since the Civil War (Section 3009)
- Allow deportations to a country with no government (Section 3035)
- Allow deportations to a country where immigrants fear persecution (Section 3009) or torture (Section 3032)
- Allow more mandatory indefinite detentions (Section 3032)
- Allows Homeland Security to deport immigrants before federal courts have decided on their case (Section 3009)
- Make it more difficult for people fleeing torture to gain asylum (Section 3007)
- Restrict access to driver's licenses and use of consular ID cards (Section 3006)

As The Washington Post recently editorialized, with the elections only weeks away, the Republicans plan "to force Democrats either to accept policy they would otherwise oppose or to turn against the bill itself -- thereby letting Republicans brand them as weak on terrorism." We need your help NOW!

TAKE ACTION: CALL CONGRESS TODAY!

United for Peace and Justice urges you to take action to stop this major escalation of the war on immigrants! So far, House staffers have said that they have received 5000 comments in support of HR 10 and only 15 in opposition to it. If we act now, we can change what they are hearing!

CALL the members of Congress below and tell them:

"I want you to remove ALL the immigration provisions of HR10 from the final 9/11 Commission bill. The immigration provisions strip people of basic Constitutional rights, and will tear countless families apart without increasing national security."

In order of importance, call:

1. Congresswoman Susan Collins from Maine (202-224-2523) - She has the most influence over which version of the bills pass.

2. Senator Joe Lieberman from Connecticut (202-224-4041) - He is the ranking Democrat who needs to be told to stick firmly to the Senate bill and reject the House's anti-immigrant provisions.

3. Senator Mike DeWine (Ohio, 202-224-2315); Congressman Sensenbrenner (Wisconsin, 202-225-5101); Senator Graham (Florida, 202-224-3041); and Senator Voinovich (Ohio, 202-224-3353).

4. Your own Congressperson and Senators. You can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected. Or look them up at http://www.house.gov and

http://www.senate.gov

5. As many of the other members of the Conference Committee as you can - these are the only people who will be deciding what sections of the bills will stay and what will go from the final bill.

Senate Members of the Conference Committee

Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey, 202-224-3224

Norm Coleman, Minnesota, 202-224-5641

John Sununu, NH, 202-224-2841

Pat Roberts, Kansas, 202-224-4774

Trent Lott, Mississippi, 202-224-6253

Carl Levin, Michigan, 202-224-6221

Richard Durbin, Illinois, 202-224-2152

John Rockefeller, West Virginia, 202-224-6472

House Members of the Conference Committee

Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., 2nd, 202-225-4401

Henry Hyde, R-Ill., 6th, 2020225-4561

David Dreier, R-Calif., 26th, 202-225-2305

Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., 52nd, 202-225-5672

Jane Harman, D-Calif., 36th, 202-225-8220

Ike Skelton, D-Mo., 4th, 202-225-2876

Robert Menendez, D-N.J., 13th, 202-225-7919



EMAIL or FAX

(Go to http://capwiz.com/aila2/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=6540936

and write your message in the boxes provided.)

IF YOU WANT TO DO MORE, contact:

American Immigration Lawyers Association http://www.aila.org/

National Immigration Forum http://www.immigrationforum.org/

Human Rights Watch http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/10/06/usdom9469.htm

Families for Freedom http://www.familiesforfreedom.org or 212-898-4121

For more info on the bills, Visit

http://www.immigrationforum.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=654



UWAA: This endeavour is being placed under the overall rubric of "Until Well-being is Achieved for All."


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Rod Downing
rdowning@istar.ca.

Surrey BC Canada
(604) 535-6550