Today I attended the Immigrants Rights Rally and March organized by Unsomos Pueblo Unido and others. It was definitely the largest rally and march of its type I have ever seen in Santa Fe. Hundreds of immigrants and locals joined with union leaders, politicians, members of the NAACP and many other oganizations to march for peace and immigrants rights. I have worked with immigrants rights groups on many issues and I was asked to give a speech. Here are excerpts from the speech I gave. I have doubts about spelling on the Spanish portions.
Buenos Tardes, Me llamo es Gregorio Solano, el Sheriff en Santa Fe. (Good afternoon, my name is Greg Solano the Sheriff of Santa Fe.)
Me habla muy poquito espanol, pero me corazon es puro Hispano Americano. ( I speak very little Spanish however my heart is pure Hispanic American.)
At one time our president demanded Russian President Gorbichof to "tear down that wall". Now some in the Republican Party and in Congress wish to build a great wall on our borders.
This will change the very nature of America and the principles it was built on. The call from the statue of liberty itself. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. " Outlined what America is all about.
We must work together for legalization of undocumented immigrants and a guest-worker program.
We must oppose laws that crack down on illegal immigrants and laws that would punish those who help them.
We have a god given mandate to care for our brothers and sisters and show compassion for the poor.
We must stand united, this is not a Mexican verses an American thing, this is a human rights issue. Often we go to other countries and fight for the human rights of others. There is a human rights struggle happening here and now in our own country.
It is not easy for some to stand up and speak out. But I defer to the late great Dr. Martin Luther King who put it best when he said "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
So to all the politicians out there who are trying to stay politically correct, to those who are silent in this issue, I say speak out. It's a not just a political issue, it's the right thing to do.
Gracias, vallen condios ( Thank you , May god go with you)