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Entre Hermanos - Seattle takes to the streets
Entre Hermanos - Seattle takes to the streets
by Marcos Martinez - SGN Contributing Writer

Me encuentro en una situación familiar periodística; escribir sobre un evento que aun no toma lugar pero que ya habrá ocurrido cuando este periódico sea publicado. Tomando esto en cuenta, hablare en términos generales y ojala los eventos del primer de Mayo no me contradigan.

El primero de Mayo, residentes de Seattle manifestaran en las calles su frustración sobre la falta e una reforma migratoria. La marcha se enfoca en la demanda por el reconocimiento de los derechos más básicos, y la dignidad de la gente obrera. La marcha fue organizada por un grupo local en defensa de los derechos de inmigrantes.

El clamor por la reforma migratoria se ha vuelto urgente en los últimos años, y en el 2006 hubieron manifestaciones atraves del país, algunas contando con cientos de miles de personas alzando sus voces y pidiendo la justicia para aquellas millones de personas viviendo y trabajando aquí sin beneficio de estatus legal.

Aunque hubo interés en aquel entonces por una reforma migratoria comprensiva, el congreso fallo en producir una nueva ley, y con la llegada de la temporada electoral, todo se puso en pause. Sin embargo, algunos municipios han efectuado nuevas leyes anti-inmigrante, que parecen ser producto de un sentimiento anti-inmigrante que ha surgido después de los ataques del 11 de Septiembre.

Aquí en Seattle me he fijado que a veces los nuevos inmigrantes llegan con la necesidad de saber a dónde ir para recibir los servicios necesarios. En particular si la persona es VIH positiva necesita acomodarse para recibir sus medicamentos, el cuidado médico y manejo de caso. Afortunadamente esos servicios son disponibles aquí en Seattle sin importar el estatus migratorio de la persona. (gracias a dios)

En los debates sobre la migración, a veces dice la gente que porque debemos cuidar o proveer servicios a personas que han entrado al país sin papeles. Pues en esta época de la globalización y los mercados libres, porque es que las inversiones pueden recorrer el mundo entero en busca de la mejor ventaja, cuando a los trabajadores se les niega moverse en busca de una vida mejor?

Y desde una perspectiva basada en los derechos humanos, es justo que una persona con VIH o SIDA, viviendo en un país con acceso limitado a medicamentos o cuidado, o peor con un ambiente peligroso, busque ubicarse en un lugar mejor. Nosotros como una comunidad LGBTQ, aceptamos a tal persona con brazos abiertos? Deberíamos tener empatía para aquellas personas?



I'm in one of those journalistic conundrums where I'm writing about something that hasn't happened yet, but which will have happened by the time this is published. So I'll speak in somewhat general terms and hopefully the Earth won't be hit by a meteor between now and when you read this.

On Thursday, May 1, Seattleites will take to the streets in a yearly expression of frustration over the lack of any meaningful immigration reform in this country. It's a march focused on recognizing the basic dignity of working people, sponsored locally by an immigrant rights and social justice organization.

This clamor for immigrant rights has taken on renewed urgency in recent years, and in 2006 there were huge rallies across the U.S., some with hundreds of thousands of people raising their voices and demanding justice for the estimated 12 million people living here without the benefit of legal citizenship status.

Although there was momentum for immigration reform, congress failed to pass any measures, and once the election year arrived the issue was put on indefinite hold. But in the meantime, some local governments have approved punitive measures that seem to reflect an anti-immigrant sentiment that's been brewing since 9/11.

One thing I've noticed living here in Seattle is that sometimes brand-new immigrants will arrive and need help finding out where to get services, especially if they are HIV positive and need to get situated with their medication, medical treatment and case management. Fortunately those services are available here and they are offered without regard to a person's immigration status (knock on wood).

In the debates over immigration, I sometimes hear people wonder why this country should take care of people who have entered "illegally." In this age of globalization and so-called free markets, if capital is free to move across borders in search of a better return on investment, why shouldn't workers be able to move in search of a better life? Or consider this, from a human rights perspective: If a person living with HIV or AIDS resides in a country with poor access to meds or a dangerous atmosphere for LGBTQ people, shouldn't they be able to move to a safer place? As an LGBTQ community, do we empathize with those who face oppression (or worse) in their home country, and are trying to make a better life for themselves? Should we empathize?

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