THAT KNOCK ON THE DOOR

knockinthedoor

THAT KNOCK ON THE DOOR

“When you hear that knock on the door, don’t open it.”

That was the advice the immigration lawyer, Ana Nobleza Siscar, gave undocumented immigrants who due to scapegoating rhetoric, policies, and actions are now living in fear.  No matter how long you have been a resident of our country, no matter the age of your children, no matter if you came here to escape violence – don’t open the door.  On the other side may be Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who following new orders have come to arrest and deport you.

Ms. Siscar’s talk called to mind the lyrics of the folksinger Phil Ochs’ song, Knock on The Door.

In many a time, in many a land
With many a gun in many a hand
They came by the night, they came by the day
Came with their guns to take us away

In other countries at other times they came and today in our country they come.
Now there’s many new words and many new names
The banners have changed but the knock is the same…

Hence in cities around the country citizens are organizing to demand that their elected officials adopt resolutions such as the following resolution drafted by an organization formed in Norwalk, Connecticut called Stand Up Norwalk or SUN.

 

SUN’S PROPOSED RESOLUTION
(See below for the Spanish translation)

WHEREAS the city of Norwalk, Connecticut is proud of its diversity and its citizens’ respect for the enlightenment values embodied in our country’s founding documents and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and

WHEREAS threats to deport law abiding undocumented immigrants and create a Muslim registry have created a climate of fear in our city and emboldened racists, xenophobes and others who do not share those values; and

WHEREAS the children of undocumented immigrants should not be separated from their parents due to their parents’ immigration status; and

WHEREAS as Governor Dannel P. Malloy pointed out “both real and perceived threats against undocumented persons and mixed-status families in our schools are causing trauma for students that affects their learning and well-being;” and

WHEREAS as Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark E. Ojakian noted many students “due to their race, religion, sexual orientation, and…immigration status” are now fearful; and

WHEREAS as former President George W. Bush pointed after the September 11, 2001 attack:  “America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country;” and

WHEREAS rhetoric that demeans Hispanics, Muslims, blacks, and others demeans everyone; and

WHEREAS every Norwalk resident should be able to participate in its civic life without fear of being arrested or reported to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency; and – See more at: http://khref.org/that-knock-on-the-door/#sthash.ys9rrzel.dpuf

WHEREAS Norwalk wants undocumented immigrants to be provided with a path to citizenship; and

WHEREAS enforcement of federal immigration laws is the responsibility of federal government not local law enforcement agencies; and

WHEREAS federal law does not require local law enforcement or other local service providers to inquire into an individual’s immigration status; and

WHEREAS the threat to deport undocumented immigrants leads them to fear to report crimes, summon help for injuries, and seek opportunities for their children; and

WHEREAS Norwalk seeks to ensure that every one of its residents realizes the protections guaranteed to her or him by the Bill of Rights,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMON COUNCIL that Norwalk, Connecticut, condemns behavior that harms, demeans or discriminates against any resident of our city; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that Norwalk condemns violence and speech that demeans undocumented workers, Muslims, blacks, women, the disabled, or members of the lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and gay community (LBTG); and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that none of Norwalk’s resources will be used to investigate, question, detect, or apprehend individuals for civil violations of immigration law; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that Norwalk employees and law enforcement personnel refrain from monitoring or participating in the surveillance of individuals, houses of worship, or political organizations absent a reasonable suspicion that they have committed a crime; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED: that Norwalk calls upon local and national government officials to respect the civil rights of undocumented as well as documented immigrants; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that Norwalk calls upon the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive, fair and humane legislation that recognizes the economic and cultural contributions of undocumented and documented immigrants; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that law enforcement personnel be prohibited by ordinance from racial profiling and in particular from stopping individuals for investigation or investigating individuals because of their perceived race, ethnicity, immigration status, religion, national origin, gender/sexual orientation, or disability unless there is reasonable suspicion, relevant to the locality and timeframe, that links a person with a particular characteristic described herein to a crime that has been committed or is likely to be committed; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that, as Governor Dannel Malloy recommended, if an ICE agent approaches a school asking for student information or for access to a student, that agent should be referred to the Superintendent’s Office or to the office of an appropriate administrator designated by the Superintendent, and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED: that in accordance with State and Federal laws Norwalk’s  police and law enforcement authorities will continue to cooperate with Federal immigration agencies in matters involving criminal activity and the protection of public safety; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED: that nothing in this resolution shall be construed to prohibit City employees and Norwalk police officers from cooperating with Federal immigration agencies when they are required to do so by statute, Federal regulation, court decision or a legally binding agreement, and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED:  that Norwalk’s city clerk transmit a copy of this resolution to Governor Dannel P. Malloy and our representatives in Congress and the state legislature.

 

RESOLUCIÓN PROPUESTA
POR STAND UP NORWALK (SUN)
PARA LA CIUDAD DE NORWALK
EN DEFENSA DE SUS RESIDENTES
AMENAZADOS POR SU RAZA,
RELIGIÓN O ESTATUS MIGRATORIO

CONSIDERANDO que la ciudad de Norwalk, Connecticut se enorgullece de su diversidad y el respeto de sus ciudadanos por los valores de iluminación encarnados en los documentos fundadores de nuestro país y La Declaración Universal de Los Derechos Humanos; y

CONSIDERANDO que las amenazas de deportar a los inmigrantes indocumentados y de crear un registro musulmán han creado un clima de temor en nuestra ciudad y han envalentonado a los racistas, xenófobos y otros que no comparten esos valores; y

CONSIDERANDO que los hijos de inmigrantes indocumentados no deben ser separados de sus padres debido a la situación migratoria de sus padres; y

CONSIDERANDO que el Gobernador Dannel P. Malloy señaló que “tanto las amenazas reales como las percibidas contra las personas indocumentadas y las familias de estado mixto en nuestras escuelas están causando trauma para los estudiantes que afecta su aprendizaje y bienestar”; y

CONSIDERANDO que como el presidente de la Universidad Estatal de Connecticut, Mark E. Ojakian, señaló que muchos estudiantes “debido a su raza, religión, orientación sexual y … estado de inmigración” ahora temen; y

CONSIDERANDO que el ex presidente George W. Bush señaló después del ataque del 11 de septiembre de 2001: “Estados Unidos cuenta con millones de musulmanes entre nuestros ciudadanos y los musulmanes hacen una contribución increíblemente valiosa a nuestro país”; y

CONSIDERANDO que la retórica que degrada a los hispanos, musulmanes, negros y otros degrada a todos; y

CONSIDERANDO que cada residente de Norwalk debe ser capaz de participar en su vida cívica sin temor de ser arrestado o reportado a la Agencia de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de los Estados Unidos; y

CONSIDERANDO que Norwalk quiere que los inmigrantes indocumentados reciban un camino hacia la ciudadanía; y

CONSIDERANDO que la aplicación de las leyes federales de inmigración es la responsabilidad del gobierno federal y no de las agencias locales; y

CONSIDERANDO que la ley federal no requiere que las autoridades locales u otros proveedores de servicios locales investiguen el estado migratorio de un individuo; y

CONSIDERANDO que la amenaza de deportar inmigrantes indocumentados les lleva a temer reportar delitos, pedir ayuda por lesiones y buscar oportunidades para sus hijos; y

CONSIDERANDO que Norwalk busca asegurar que cada uno de sus residentes se percate de las protecciones garantizadas a él o ella por La Declaración de Derechos,

POR LO TANTO SE RESUELVE POR EL CONSEJO COMÚN que Norwalk, Connecticut, condena un comportamiento que perjudica, degrada o discrimina contra cualquier residente de nuestra ciudad; y se

RESUELVE ADEMÁS que Norwalk condena la violencia y el habla que menosprecian a los trabajadores indocumentados, musulmanes, negros, mujeres, discapacitados o miembros de la comunidad lesbiana, bisexual, transexual y homosexual y se

RESUELVE ADEMÁS que ninguno de los recursos de Norwalk será utilizado para investigar, cuestionar, detectar o aprehender a individuos por violaciones civiles de la ley de inmigración; y se

RESUELVE ADEMÁS que los empleados de Norwalk y el personal encargado de hacer cumplir la ley se abstengan de monitorear o participar en la vigilancia de individuos, casas de culto u organizaciones políticas sin una sospecha razonable de que han cometido un delito; y se

RESUELVE ADEMÁS: que Norwalk pide a los funcionarios de los gobiernos locales y nacionales que respeten los derechos civiles de los inmigrantes indocumentados y documentados; y se

RESUELVE ADEMÁS que Norwalk pide al Congreso de los Estados Unidos que apruebe una legislación amplia, justa y humana que reconozca las contribuciones económicas y culturales de los inmigrantes indocumentados y documentados; y se

RESUELVE ADEMÁS que el personal encargado de hacer cumplir la ley sea prohibido por ordenanza de discriminación racial y en particular de detener a individuos para investigar o investigar a individuos debido a su raza, etnia, estado migratorio, religión, origen nacional, orientación sexual o discapacidad a menos que haya sospechas razonables pertinente a la localidad y el plazo, que vincula a una persona con una característica particular descrita aquí con un delito que ha sido cometido o es probable que sea cometido; y se

RESUELVE ADEMÁS que, como recomendó el Gobernador Dannel Malloy, si un agente del ICE se acerca a una escuela pidiendo información sobre o acceso a un estudiante, dicho agente  debe ser remitido a la Oficina del Superintendente o a la oficina de un administrador apropiado designado por el Superintendente, y se

RESUELVE ADEMÁS: que de conformidad con las leyes estatales y federales, la policía y las autoridades policiales de Norwalk seguirán cooperando con las agencias federales de inmigración en asuntos relacionados con la actividad delictiva y la protección de la seguridad pública; y se

RESUELVE ADEMÁS: que nada en esta resolución será considerado prohibir los empleados de la Ciudad y los oficiales de policía de Norwalk cooperen con agencias de inmigración federales cuando están obligados a hacerlo por ley, regulación federal, decisión judicial o un acuerdo legalmente vinculante y se

RESUELVE ADEMÁS: que el secretario de la ciudad de Norwalk transmita una copia de esta resolución al gobernador Dannel Patrick Malloy.

REFUGEE

unnamed 11.09.07 AM

Egon Schwarz (1922 – 2017)

REFUGEE

by Paul Cantor

Egon Schwarz died three days ago.
It was 3 A.M. this morning when I received the news. 3 A.M. on Valentines Day 2017.

Egon, escaped from Vienna with his parents after the 1938 Anschluss. He was 16 at the time and his book Refuge: Chronicle of a Flight from Hitler, is the riveting account of his experience. It is a must read in these troubled times when so many are seeking refuge from the horrific situations they face in the Middle East or Africa.

After a harrowing trip as undocumented immigrants through Nazi occupied territory Egon and his parents finally ended up on a boat that brought them to Bolivia. Then he spent ten years working odd jobs while wandering through Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador till he finally made it to the United States.

But no doubt in the next few days when his obituaries are published in papers around the world they won’t begin with an account of those experiences. Rather they will indicate that he was a renowned scholar who was a Harvard professor for seven years before moving on to serve as the chair of the Department of German Languages and Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. And of course they will mention his many other publications and the many academic prizes he received and the numerous other universities around the world where he was a visiting professor.

One of the remarkable things about Egon is how sharp his mind was and how engaged he was with the world right up until the end of his life. Here, for example, is an excerpt from the last email I received from him:

“The weather is dark and rainy, reflecting our political mood. We still hope that a figure will arise to collect the diffuse opposition in the country and articulate our collective dissent…The lack of rationality and knowledge is not the only explanation of our debacle. Another is the antiquated system; another the sex of the opposing candidate; a third the shameless lies, the gullibility of voters, the accumilated hatred in their chests and the…etc, etc.”

Our country and the world might have lost something we need a whole lot more when Egon Schwarz died three days ago. That something is the erudition and compassion he embodied.

But now as I write I hear Egon’s calling out to me and saying, “Don’t worry. My spirit lives on in the thousands of individuals like you whose lives I have touched and will continue to touch through my writings.”

In other words, “Egon Schwarz, Presente!”