Deport the Statue
Deport the Statue of Liberty? Crazy, right?
But you know what’s really crazy?
Deporting millions of human beings who have lived and worked in the U.S. for years and call this country their home.
That is what’s been happening for years under U.S. immigration policy.
Today, we have the chance -- and the power -- to change that.
Public opinion today strongly favors fair, common-sense immigration reform. What’s more, the Obama administration and Congress finally appear committed to making it happen. At the end of June, the Senate passed an immigration reform bill that could help millions of immigrants -- more than half of them women -- live up to their full potential, and help our country do the same. In October, members of the House of Representatives introduced a new immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Let's hold them to that. Although the path to citizenship included in the current bill comes at a huge cost -- increased enforcement that could have devastating effects for many-- this is our chance to push for immigration reform that protects human rights and due process for all.
That's why we had to get extra-creative. We created the red herring "LegalsPAC," the Legals for the Preservation of American Culture, a group focused on deporting the statue of liberty due to her immigration status. Led by fictional CEO Harvey Knowles Brier, our humorous and fictional universe stretched from spoof twitter accounts to websites to email threads. The fictional world was created solely to help build a larger and louder groundswell than ever around immigration in the U.S.
The #TimeisNow . We have the opportunity to build an America that values the freedom, dignity, and humanity of all the women, men, and children who live here.
ACT NOW: What you can do TODAY.
1. Watch and share the Deport the Statue of Liberty video.
2. Take action for immigrant women. Follow hashtags #DeportheStatue, #TimeisNow, #Not1more and RT!
5. Call Congress to support immigration reform that treats women fairly
6. Tell the House that the time is NOW for immigration reform
- The time is now
- Stand up for immigrant women
- What immigrant women face
- What's at stake in the new bill
Putting the Funny in Immigration Reform
You probably already know the Yes Men! From the brilliance of their creative activism arose the Yes Lab, known for its use of attention-grabbing satire to drive change. Breakthrough partnered with the Yes Lab to reach and energize new supporters for women’s and immigrants’ rights.
With momentum on our side, we need new and even larger audiences to understand the basic, shared values and freedoms that are at stake, and to stand up and help build broader and more vocal support than ever before for common-sense immigration reform.
That’s why advocates are getting more creative every day: from the Undocubus to #Fairdora. For Breakthrough this approach to immigrants’ rights began with micro-documentaries, moved to video games -- ICED - I Can End Deportation, Homeland Guantanamos, America 2049 -- short film, and finally satire.
We hope the miniature fictional universe we have created will inspire new audiences and potential activists to think, “Wow, I almost believed this was real. The forces against fairness are pretty strong. I’ve got new energy and insight around this issue -- and I had better take action, right now.”
Bonus: Here are the fake press releases we wrote to spread the film, and below are some photos that take you behind the scenes with Breakthrough and The Yes Lab.
Behind the scenes
The time is now.
For years, advocates have called for the overhaul of our broken immigration system that denies human rights and due process to millions of people who live and work in the U.S. The issue exploded onto the national agenda during the 2012 presidential election, driven in part by our enormous immigrant population and the millions of other Americans who support equal justice and opportunity for all.
Public opinion today strongly favors fair, common-sense immigration reform. What’s more, the Obama administration and Congress finally appear committed to making it happen.
At the end of June, the Senate passed an immigration reform bill that could help millions of immigrants -- more than half of them women -- live up to their full potential, and help our country do the same. Although the path to citizenship included in the current bill comes at a huge cost -- increased enforcement that could have devastating effects for many-- this is our chance. As the House begins to consider an immigration reform bill, we need to push for immigration reform that protects human rights and due process for all.
We are all entitled to dignity, equality, and justice. We must overhaul our immigration system with these human rights values at its core.
Together we can build an America in which everyone is safe in their homes, secure in their families, and limitless in their dreams.
Stand up for immigrant women.
The Senate version of the bill -- with some troubling exceptions -- includes some protections for immigrant women and enables them to walk the path to citizenship. As the bill moves through Congress and beyond, we need to make sure it stays at least as strong, inclusive, and fair as it is now.
To fully support the women who make up more than half the immigrant population, reform must include:
- An inclusive roadmap to citizenship
- Provisions for family reunification
- Workers’ rights protections and fairness in employment-based immigration
- Protections for survivors of violence and trafficking
- Due process and protections for all kinds of families, including LBGTQ
- Immigrant integration
- Provisions that protect against racial profiling
- Due process protections for all
What immigrant women face.
The human rights of all immigrants to the U.S. have declined over the past several years. But anti-immigrant policies and practices have had an especially dramatic impact on immigrant women and their families. Such measures:
- force immigrant women to choose between the threat of an abusive partner and the threat of deportation if they call the police
- send pregnant women to give birth in shackles with federal agents by their side
- trap women and LGBTQ individuals in immigrant detention centers under the constant threat of physical and sexual abuse
- separate parents and children by deportation or indefinite detention, often without due process
What’s at stake in the new bill.
Without provisions that address women’s particular circumstances, they will continue to be denied:
- access to healthcare and reproductive rights
- the right to raise children in safety
- freedom from the threat of unfair deportation and resulting family devastation
- their full economic and personal potential
- MUST KEEP: Many immigrant women work in informal sectors as domestic workers or stay-at-home mothers. The current version of the Senate bill includes provisions for workers in a “paperless economy.” For women’s path to citizenship to remain clear of hurdles, such provisions must remain in the bill.
- MUST CHANGE: The bill’s current version denies aspiring citizens affordable healthcare options such as Medicaid for the entire duration of their provisional immigration status. This period could last up to 15 years.
- MUST CHANGE: The current bill does not include protections for same-sex binational couples. Many LGBTQ people and families will be excluded from the path to citizenship simply because they are LGBTQ
- MUST CHANGE: The current bill includes provisions for increased immigration enforcement that would lead to continued abuse of the human rights of millions of new Americans that live and work in this country.
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