Immigration reform added to movement of “indignant”

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement, which started last month in a small park in New York City and spread quickly to major U.S. cities, could receive an unexpected boost from organizations that are fighting for comprehensive immigration reform.

“Immigrants are definitely part of the 99% that has been affected by bad politics implemented by the 1% that controls the finances of the United States,” Juan José Gutiérrez, coordinator of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition in Los Angeles, CA, told Univision.com. “We have experienced disastrous effects in the last three years, and we have been more affected than other segments of society.”

“Undocumented Hispanics have lost their houses and jobs. We have seen how we can lose the value of our property and with that comes the loss of our rights. And the fact that 11 million don’t have papers, these losses affect us even more than the 99 percent that are taking to the streets to express their indignation,” Gutiérrez said.

The first protests

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement was originally inspired by the movement of the “indignant” against the global financial crisis that started in Spain in May, which spread to all corners of the world soon after.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, protests in more than 900 cities took place worldwide, transforming into a global phenomenon in which hundreds of millions of people took to the streets. The majority of protesters were young people who were demanding, among other things, better job opportunities, an end to political corruption, cleaning up financial politics and ending what has been called the voracity of the financial market.

The movement of the indignant has been “reborn with a global strength,” wrote the Spanish daily, El Pais, on its website on Sunday.

“We are uniting with the movement for the same reasons expressed by those that comprise the 99%,” explained Gutiérrez. “And we are adding immigration reform because we believe that if the government and Congress don’t approve some kind of legislation benefiting the 11 million undocumented immigrants, our community will suffer from mistreatment even more.”

What they are demanding

A declaration distributed simultaneously in various countries signaled that “from America to Asia, from Africa to Europe, people are rising up to claim their rights and seek true democracy … The established powers are acting for the benefit of so few, ignoring the wishes of the vast majority … It’s necessary to end this intolerable situation.”

In the last six years, immigration reform has been debated without success a number of times in Congress. The lack of a bipartisan agreement prevents undocumented immigrants from having access to a green card and, eventually, citizenship.

“Last year and this year were disastrous,” Gutiérrez said. “But we believe that this time we will see favorable results for our cause. We think that if we bring together the movement of the indignant, we will be obliging our legislators to go from attacking us to sitting down to legislate and give us rights.”

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