Originally, the European Union was composed or [of] 5 or 6 Western European countries. When nations such as Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Greece applied to join the EU in the early 1970s there was quite an income disparity between the member countries and the applicants. So as part of the economic integration process, the richer countries provided grants to the poorer countries to allow them to develop infrastructure, invest in industry and education, and do other things that would help develop their economies. There were fears that with the free movement of labor that the population of Portugal and Greece would simply relocate to France or Germany where both wages and benefits were substantially higher than in their own countries. But that has not happened. The industrial development strategy has been quite successful and allowed the poorer countries to build stronger economies. Countries like Ireland and Spain have been experiencing economic growth like never before.
American Friends Service Committee (www.afsc.org/immigrants-rights): Has a national program, Project Voice—Migration and Mobility Unit, that works to strengthen the voices of immigrant-led organizations in setting the national agenda for immigration policy and immigrants' rights.
American Immigration Lawyers Association (www.ailalawyer.com): A legal association for immigration attorneys with a membership of more than 10,000 immigration lawyers. AILA provides an immigration lawyer referral service on its website.
Border Action Network (www.borderaction.org): A network of immigrants and border residents in Nogales, Douglas, and Tucson, Arizona, working to amplify the voices and power of those who are most impacted by border and immigration policies.
Breakthrough, international human rights organization that uses media, education and pop culture to promote values of dignity, equality and justice: www.breakthrough.tv
Campaign for Labor Rights (www.clrlabor.org): Mobilizes grassroots support throughout the United States for campaigns to end labor rights violations around the world.
CoaliciÃ³n de Derechos Humanos (www.derechoshumanosaz.net): A grassroots organization working to promote respect for human and civil rights and to fight militarization, discrimination, and abuse of authority in the southern border region.
Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras(www.coalitionforjustice.net): A tri-national coalition of religious, environmental, labor, Latino, and women's organizations supporting worker and community struggles in the maquiladora industry.
Detention Watch Network (www.detentionwatchnetwork.org): A national coalition addressing the crisis of immigration detention and helping detainees and their loved ones make their voices heard.
Families for Freedom (www.familiesforfreedom.org):
A multi-ethnic defense network by and for immigrants facing and fighting deportation.
Farmworker Justice (www.fwjustice.org): An organization working to empower migrant and seasonal farmworkers by improving their living and working conditions, immigration status, health, occupational safety, and access to justice.
Global Workers Justice Alliance (www.globalworkers.org): A cross-border network of worker advocates and resources that combats migrant worker exploitation by promoting portable justice for transnational migrants.
Immigration Equality (www.immigrationequality.org): A national organization working to end immigration discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive people, and to help win asylum for those persecuted based on sexual identity or HIV status.
Life or Liberty, a non-profit media project begun in 2002 to produce documentaries on immigrant communities affected by post-9/11 policies. The project has produced award-winning short documentaries for grassroots organizing and educational outreach: www.lifeorliberty.org
Maquila Solidarity Network (www.maquilasolidarity.org):
A labor and women's rights advocacy organization promoting solidarity with grassroots groups in Mexico, Central America, and Asia, that works to improve conditions in maquiladora factories and export processing zones.
Migration Policy Institute (MPI), "independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide": www.migrationpolicy.org
National Employment Law Project (www.nelp.org): Provides information and advocacy in defense of low-wage workers, including immigrant workers.
National Immigration Law Center (www.nilc.org): Provides information, policy analysis, and advocacy in defense of low-income immigrants and their family members.
National Immigration Project (www.nationalimmigrationproject.org): A project of the National Lawyers' Guild, Inc. devoted to defending the rights of immigrants facing incarceration and deportation.
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (www.nnirr.org): A national organization bringing together immigrant, refugee, community, religious, civil rights, and labor organizations and activists from around the United States in defense of immigrant rights.
Pew Hispanic Center (PHC), "nonpartisan research organization [whose] mission is to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the entire nation": http://pewhispanic.org
Rights Working Group (www.rightsworkinggroup.org): A nationwide coalition of groups and individuals committed to protecting civil liberties and human rights.
SweatFree Communities (www.sweatfree.org): A national network assisting sweatshop workers globally in their struggles to improve working conditions and form strong, independent unions.
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), "a data gathering, data research and data distribution organization associated with Syracuse University...information about federal enforcement, staffing and spending": www.trac.syr.edu
U.S. / Labor Education in the Americas Project (www.usleap.org): Works to sup port the basic rights of workers in Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico, especially those who are employed directly or indirectly by U.S. companies.
United Students Against Sweatshops
(www.studentsagainstsweatshops.org): An organization of students and community members at over 200 campuses around the United States, supporting the struggles of working people and challenging corporate power.
RLCC Comment: This site is worth visiting and overviewing at the very least. It raises many serious and completely valid points concerning the inhuman treatment of many honest and hardworking people driven under economic duress (they commit the lesser sin) inflicted upon them by the evil ultra-greedy ones who have no moral foundation for their economic or racist and ethnically bigoted positions. They must be overturned in the heart of every Christian.
The fact that Europe's once less fortunate nations are rising with the European tied is very telling. On the issue of labor, Mexico should be treated by the U.S. as Spain is treated by the whole of the E.U. This is a great idea to start the process toward justice for all claimed by the so-called conservatives in their beloved Pledge of Allegiance.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)