Friday, May 12, 2006

BHIP Joins the Rally to Support Our Immigrants!

BHIP Housing Advocate, Yolanda Coca (far right) helps lead
the Immigrant March over the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday, April 10th

This past April 10th, and then again on May 1st, well over 2 million undocumented immigrants, workers and their families, along with their supporters, mobilized and rallied in major cities all over the United States to demand fair immigration laws, and rallied against the unjust immigration bill H.R. 4437 that was passed this year by the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. that threatens to not only deport undocumented immigrants, but have them and any of their family members living in the U.S. arrested for aiding them in the country in any way. In New York City alone, well over 100,000 (seemed like a million!) undocumented immigrants, their families, and countless supporters gathered around City Hall in an amazing show of unity and solidarity for all the honest, and hard-working immigrants who remain undocumented, and are living all over the country with the hope and promise of making a better life for their families here in the United States.

A large group of Bushwick immigrants and supporters await the next yellow bus on
Grove St. to pick them up and take them to the Immigrant March and Rally on April 10th

On what turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day for a march in April, here in Bushwick, Brooklyn, our sister organization, Make the Road by Walking, did an outstanding job of organizing hundreds of immigrant marchers, supporters, and volunteers for the rally, and also arranged for a fleet of buses (over 12 yellow buses full to capacity) to transport all the marchers to Downtown Brooklyn at the entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge where the march over the bridge was to begin on April 10th. They also created and provided countless of signs, banners, posters, and even bandanas for all the marchers to utilize at the march and rally. You could see those signs and bandanas all over the place!

A Bushwick resident lets his feelings be known and is ready to march!

The first wave of immigrants and marchers proceed over the Brooklyn Bridge

The turnout of Bushwick immigrant residents was a great success at both rallies. We commend them on all the planning , hard work, and effort it took to organize these historic marches and rallies for the undocumented immigrants in our community, and for all the great work they have been doing at Make the Road in support of our families, both undocumented and documented, here in Bushwick over the last few years. We know that there is so much more work ahead of us, and we walk together with you!

BHIP Associate Director, Rick Echevarria, was at the march ..

.. and shows his support while marching over the Brooklyn Bridge

Rick's brother, Glenn Angel Echevarria,
the Center for the Arts & Culture at St. John the Baptist)
was also at the march lending his voice and support

In a very peaceful, and inspiring display of unity and solidarity, the immense number of marchers that represented so many different countries (not just latino) were very loud in voicing their feelings and displeasure for the current state of U.S. immigration laws, and especially the new H.R. 4437 bill, but they also overwhelmingly, and openly shared their love not only for the countries they were from, but their love for the United States as well.. all in the hope of one day becoming legally documented Americans.

A steady stream of youth and adult immigrant marchers
make their way across the Brooklyn Bridge proudly waving their flags

Yes, indeed.. United We Stand!

We at BHIP support all our honest, hard-working immigrants not only from our own community, but in all communities across the U. S. where immigrants are living and working trying to provide a better qulaity of life for themselves, their families, and their children. We need laws that make sense and address the issues that so many undocumented immigrants face every day when it comes to their dignity and human rights.

Volunteer organizers lead the rallying cry.. "Si, se puede!"..

..while the marchers make their way into Downtown Manhattan

We know that this is not an easy process, and much debate is taking place on both sides of this very hot issue, but as long as we have honest
debates and open communication, a positive solution can be found so that the over 12 million undocumented immigrants that currently live and work in our country, can continue to do so as they strive to attain their legalization status without the threat of themselves being separated from their families, or their family members treated as criminals, being arrested, or deported.

A couple of marchers share their feelings on the matter..

..while some others share an interesting point

BHIP is proud to join in this struggle for the dignity and respect of our undocumented immigrants who live, and work hard in our community, and who honestly work hard all over the U.S. looking to have a piece of that ever elusive American Dream, which right now, for them, seems to be a nightmare with the uncertainty of their future in our goverment's hands.

Large numbers come in droves over the Brooklyn Bridge
into the Downtown City Hall area in Manhattan

Countless immigrant families came and marched with their children..

..while the youth and teens came in amazing numbers.. represent their countries with pride.. march with their families..

and to be a part of history.. not just read about it..
with a message that was loud and clear

We will continue to join hands with our immigrants, all advocacy groups in our community and throughout the city, to help represent these
individuals and families the best ways we know how.. by being united, and walking together during this important time in our community, and in the history of our country. The numbers of immigrants who showed up in massive numbers at these rallies in New York City, and all over our country just don't lie! And everywhere you looked, as far as the eye could see, you could not only see flags representing countries all over the world, but so many of these hard-working immigrants were proudly waving their American flags!

The American flag was proudly displayed by many groups..

.. from the older generation immigrants who labored tirelessly
to support and keep their families together.. the youngest who represent our future

BHIP will continue to support all the honest, hard-working families in our communities, and all over the country in the struggle for their rights, for justice, to attain citizenship, to continue living in this great land of opportunity, and to claim their dignity.. because it is truly our struggle, too!

Our good friend, Giuliano, of the Little Brothers of the Gospel,
gives his support at the march, and his blessing as well

So, the question then for all of us, and all our immigrants is,
can this American Dream truly be realized?

We truly believe the answer is.. Yes, it can!




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