On December 4, 2000, the United Nations (U.N.)
proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants’ Day, in recognition
of migrant persons as being particularly vulnerable to violations of
their basic rights. Twelve years later, migrant organizations and
their allies around the world speak out on this day to celebrate the
many positive contributions of immigrants and speak out against the
racism and xenophobia that continue to migrants at risk.
The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities
(NALACC) joins with the UN and organizations around the world to
celebrate the International Day of the Migrant and to remind all the
nations of the world of the important contributions made by immigrants
to our societies.
Around the world, the rights of migrants have been under a systematic
attack for two decades, driven in part by obsolete and punitive
immigration laws. We have also seen migrants’ rights eroded in the US
by mean-spirited local and state anti-immigrant laws. The common
thread in all these laws is the idea that today’s immigrants represent
a threat to U.S. society.
“As we commemorate International Migrants’ Day, we need to move away
from the mistaken notion that immigrants pose a threat to U.S.
society; to the contrary, immigrants have proven to be a great asset
for the nation,” said Angela Sanbrano, NALACC board president. “We
should focus on working together to tackle the real threat to our
well-being, the policies that have led to increasing social and
economic inequality in our nation and around the world,” added Ms.
“Over the past three years, over a million families, mostly Mexicans,
have endured the pains of forced separation,” stated Juvencio Rocha
Peralta, president of the Mexican’s Association of North Carolina
(AMEXCAN) and NALACC vice president. “As we commemorate International
Migrants’ Day, we must renew our commitment to help our policy makers
and the general public to understand that migrant rights are human
rights,” concluded Mr. Rocha Peralta.
“As we emerge from the elections of 2012, it has become abundantly
clear that Latinos are an emerging political force,” stated Patricia
Montes, executive director of Centro Presente in Massachusetts and a
NALACC board member. “As we celebrate International Migrant Day, we
call on policymakers to pursue a new approach to migration that
recognizes our many proud contributions to this nation and protects
our full rights as human beings,” urged Ms. Montes.
NALACC member organizations, alongside many other migrant rights
organizations are joining a Global Day of Action on migrant rights.
For more information, see www.NALACC,org or the International Migrant
Day page www.globalmigrantsaction.org.