The news about Ludeman’s remarks rankled Velásquez, who quickly swung into action. Within hours, he had changed Ludeman’s mind and promised to hand-deliver a resolution for consideration by council this Tuesday, March 14th. At press time, it was believed that Velásquez had lined up the necessary commitments, from at least six council members, and the matter was being submitted for Council Agenda considerations this past Tuesday, March 7th.
Here is the text of Velásquez’s proposed resolution, which is comparable to Cleveland’s:
An Emergency Resolution
Opposing the “Sensenbrenner-King Bill”, HR 4437, which would make felons of 11
Million undocumented immigrants, criminalize contact with undocumented
immigrants and frustrate the dreams of legal immigrants seeking citizenship.
WHEREAS, on December 16, 2005, the US House of Representatives approved the Border Protection, Antiterrorism and Illegal Immigration Act. HR4437, also known as the Sensenbrenner-King Bill; and
WHEREAS, HR4437 criminalizes the mere presence of an alien without valid immigration status, thereby causing 11 million undocumented immigrants, including 1.6 million children, currently living and working in the US to be guilty of a federal felony; and
WHEREAS, the Bill’s broad definition of “smuggling” allows the federal government to prosecute almost any American having casual contact with an undocumented immigrant; and
WHEREAS, HR4437 could potentially make criminals out of church groups providing food, shelter or other assistance to undocumented immigrants, social workers assisting undocumented workers who are victims of domestic abuse, co-workers giving an undocumented immigrant a ride to work, and a US citizen living with a spouse who is an undocumented immigrant; and
WHEREAS, Toledo is the home of national Farm Labor Organizing Committee and said legislation would make felons of all its officers and staff. It would criminalize many of its members and make it impossible for them to adjust their status.
WHEREAS, HR4437 eliminates judicial oversight of delays in the naturalization process and allows the federal government to use subjective and secretive information to bar legal immigrants from becoming US citizens; and
WHEREAS, HR4437 would greatly increase the cost of our Police Department by adding immigration duties to their responsibilities; and
WHEREAS, this resolution constitutes an emergency measure for the immediate preservation of public peace, property, health or safety, now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TOLEDO:
Section 1. That this Council hereby opposes the “Sensenbrenner-King Bill HR4437 and any other similar bills, which would make felons of 11 million undocumented immigrants, criminalize contact with undocumented immigrants and frustrate the dreams of honest, hard-working immigrants seeking to become full residents of our community and a part of the American dream.
Section 2. That the Clerk of Council is hereby directed to transmit copies of this resolution to U.S. Senators Mike DeWine and George Voinovich.
Section 3. That this resolution is hereby declared to be an emergency measure and, provided it receives the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to Council, it shall take effect and be in force immediately upon its adoption and approval by the Mayor; otherwise it shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by law.
Signed: March 6, 2006, Toledo, Ohio.”
Once again, Baldemar Velásquez, Beatriz Maya, and other FLOC activists have stepped forward to ensure that “justice be done.” The annual March for Justice follows, scheduled for April 12, 2006, with a theme of immigration reform.
As often said by Velásquez, “¡Hasta La Victoria!”