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May, 2006

Spirit of the Revolution:
Our unity makes us strong

By the Community Homeless Alliance Ministry

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

CHAM urges all of its members and supporters to participate in and help build the marches for immigrant rights around the country. Our ministry has always been committed to building a world where, as Jesus said, all might have life, and have it more abundantly.

This is why we have always believed in and fought for economic human rights for everyone, regardless of nation, color, language, religion, or class.

Ensuring the human rights of immigrants is a moral question. All human life is sacred. The Bible tells us unequivocally that "the foreigner living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt." Jesus called on us to teach all nations. Paul was a migrant himself, moving from place to place all across the Roman Empire, making his living as a tent-maker while he preached the word of God.

Unity with immigrants is also a practical question. Our struggle against poverty and for basic housing, health care, education, and living wage jobs for our people cannot succeed without unity. Our unity makes us strong. For over a century, most of the American union movement tried to protect its standard of living by excluding and attacking immigrants. This was never a wise or effective policy, but globalization has now made it impossible, and most groups have abandoned it. If we fail to unite with and organize immigrants today, we can be sure that the corporations will do so, and will use them to accelerate the "race to the bottom."

The upsurge of the immigrant rights movement is good news for the poor. It is more than just a "new civil rights movement." It is the foundation of a broader movement for economic justice. Immigrants are our people, just as surely as any other poor and working people. Their God is our God, their movement is our movement, and their destiny is our destiny. Our health care, education, and livelihood are directly tied to theirs. Divided, we will fall. United, by fighting for their full political and economic human rights just as we fight for our own, we will thrive.

Everybody in, nobody out! Join us!

Community Homeless Alliance Ministry is a homeless ministry based in San Jose, California

This article originated in the People's Tribune
PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654, 773-486-3551, info@peoplestribune.org.
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