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Immigrants Head to the Hill

June 11, 2010 ·

A firsthand account of an immigration hearing, and the devastating effects punitive immigration laws have had on women and children.

Immigration protest in ChicagoIPS social worker Tiffany Williams, program manager of our Break the Chain Campaign, went to the Dept. of Labor and then an ad-hoc hearing chaired by Rep. Raul Grijalva (link to his OtherWords op-ed) and co-chaired by several other Representatives about Arizona's new law, SB1070, and its devastating effects on women and children. Here's Tiffany's story:

"We started at the DOL, plus reps from the white house and homeland security. They were incredibly moved by the stories and updated us on their planned response (e.g., Obama has 25 lawyers looking into whether the law can be stopped). We then moved on to a meeting w/national women's orgs, where we shared strategies and actions (letters, demonstrations, etc).

Then on to the hearing. It was so packed that people were sitting on the floor, standing in aisles, craning in to see from the hallway...Even hearing the testimony for the third time had me in tears, and there were few people who were not crying. Even Rep. Polis had to take off his glasses to wipe away tears after hearing the little girl — only 10 years old — talk about her parents, and another young woman describe the abuse she suffered in the jail. Grijalva was composed, but so kind to them, and expressed his urgency that we fix this situation.

It was an emotionally taxing day — a lot of heavy sadness and trauma, juxtaposed with the joy you feel when you finally get to speak that truth to power."


Jennifer Doak
Outreach & Production Coordinator