We have gathered today to join women around the globe to observe International Women’s Day. On this special day we have gathered to proclaim that The Time is Now to respect women’s rights, to ensure gender equality, to stop all sort of abuse and harassment to women and girls. But more than anything we are here today to proclaim that The Time is Now to find a political and humanitarian solution and reestablish social stability and human dignity to the millions of immigrant women and their families that are being used as political games while living in a legal limbo constantly intimidated by the harsh immigration enforcement policies promoted by the current White House administration.
After almost 50 years since the rise of the feminist and women’s movement, we are coming to the realization that despite the achievements of these movements there is still a long road ahead to reach gender equality, end women’s poverty and stop violence against women. As it has become evident by the #MeToo movement, women from all walks of life continue being sexually harassed. This is why today commemorating International Women’s Day is more important than ever. Today all across the globe, women are declaring their determination to continue the struggle for transforming women’s lives.
The time is now to call attention to the long-lasting effects of the trauma that families go through as a result of forced family separations that in many cases children live through for the majority of their childhood. According to a new report by the Migration Policy Institute and the Urban Institute, not only is this administration’s plan for addressing immigration economically and logistically unviable, it shows that it has little understanding of the damaging effects that deportation has on family members left behind.
We want to dedicate this day to highlight the achievements of immigrant and refugee women while at the same time we are here to join in solidarity and call attention at the distress immigrant and refugee women are enduring by the constant assaults of this administration that insists in presenting immigrants as a threat to the social security of this country. Immigrants are not a social threat, we are the back bone of the economy of this country, and this is even more certain for the $47 billion production of California’s Central Valley economy where no one dares to accept the essentiality of immigrants work in this industry. Not only are we an essential part of the economy by doing the hard work for the valley’s main industry, agriculture, but we are also contributing to the social, cultural and political landscape of this region.
Today we want to embrace the strengths and resilience of ALL women and especially immigrant and refugee women. The time is now to acknowledge the struggle they face, to tell the untold stories of women who in spite of being subjected to all sorts of harassment in the workplace, they continue following their dreams for a better life for them and their families with strength and determination. The time is now to acknowledge the unspoken reality of the daily lives of working women: from waking up to another day of work, to returning home only to continue working without rest until their children are safely in their beds. The time is now to honor the women who make this society better for the next generation; The time is now to honor the women caring for the young ones and the elders, too while making sure our elders know they are not forgotten; The time is now to honor the women in the farmworkers and immigrants’ rights movement who are in the frontlines fighting for justice and equality; The time is now to honor those women who have lost their lives and have sacrificed so much to ensure that future generations live a better life. The time is now to uphold and stand in unity with ALL the women who have taken the initiative to fight for themselves and the rights of other women.
Lastly, the time is now to call on our elected officials at all levels from the sheriff’s department, boards of supervisors, city council, house of representatives, senators and more so the President and demand that they act with compassion in resolving this humanitarian crisis and that the rights of those who have been detained not to be stripped away as we are witnessing again and again. The time is now, Mr. President to STOP using immigrants and refugees as a political game and for you to demonstrate political will and wisdom by finding a humane solution to one of the most inhumane immigration crisis that you and your administration have caused.