For Immediate Release
May 1, 2009

Reference: Raquel Redondiez, Chair, GABRIELA USA, 415-244-9734

GABRIELA USA Honors Working Women World-Wide and
Calls for Renewed Struggle for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

The women of GABRIELA-USA will march in four cities on May 1, 2009 to honor and celebrate the perseverance, hard work, and economic and social contributions of working women everywhere, on International Workers’ Day. We join the wide range of immigrant communities coming together in the US to march for a change in working conditions and immigrant legislation.  We understand that it is the labor of working women throughout the world that sustains families and keeps bankrupt economies, like the Philippines, afloat.  We honor the work of all women, and especially recognize the victories and milestones achieved by women’s movements, such as that of GABRIELA Philippines who this year celebrates its 25th anniversary of fighting to advance working conditions and basic rights of Filipino women.

Given the economic crisis of U.S. led imperialism that has caused the massive job loss for millions of people, the collapse of the housing bubble, and major cuts to social spending, without a doubt, working women and their families will bear the brunt of this systemic crisis.  We recognize that this crisis, caused by capitalist and imperialist greed, will accelerate forced migration of women from developing countries to the U.S. The crisis, manifested in continued harsh working conditions, will follow migrant working women in their first world destinations.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the incredible unemployment rate and desperate competition for jobs will surely be exploited by corporations in order to push down wages and pit immigrant workers against other workers.  Already, immigrant families are subjected to the terror of middle-of the night ICE raids and unjust deportation of parents or children.  Hundreds of families are torn apart because of the raids or the broken immigration system backlogs that prevent the re-unification of tens of thousands of families.

On this May 1st, GABRIELA USA calls on all women and their families to continue the struggle against forced migration and for comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S.  We join the working men and women of the  broad immigrant rights movement to  demand from the Obama administration an end to the raids and deportation that are tearing apart our families! We need family reunification and not deportation, bail-out for families and not for corporations, economic opportunities and social services for all working people!

NO TO RAIDS, DETENTIONS, AND DEPORTATIONS!
SWIFT FAMILY REUNIFICATION NOW!
SCRAP THE IMMIGRATION BACKLOG!
BAIL-OUT THE WORKERS, NOT THE BANKS!
END ALL  NEOLIBERAL TRADE POLICIES!

GABRIELA USA is the Sisters of Gabriela Awaken (SiGAw) in Los Angeles, Babae in San Francisco, Pinay Sa Seattle in Seattle, and Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) in New York City.