The Committee on a Moratorium on Deportations is a group founded in Chicago the spring of 2010 to create a space for individuals and organizations to discuss perspectives, share information and coordinate efforts in their fight to get from President Obama an Executive Order for a Moratorium on Deportation. However, in early 2011 the undocumented youth who founded the MDC reached out to form a broader organizing community. Through an experimental series of speak-outs called “The ABCs of Struggle: A is for Amnesty and Abolition” and then through mobilizations for March 10th Liberation Square and the People’s Trial of Boeing action, the MDC changed from being a campaign to a meeting-place for a variety of immigrant-rights groups, anti-war and community organizations. Currently, MDC has become a logistical host and intersectional platform for the planning process of Chicago Mayday 2011. A number of groups have answered the call of undocumented youth to build Mayday through a horizontal and democratic political process, and are using this site, as well as the main coordinates of MDC, as an appropriate and useful infrastructure. For a sense of where we are now politically and organizationally, please see the information on March 10 and Mayday organizing.
Below is the text from the group’s original mission statement written in Spring 2010.
Candidate Obama promised change. In particular, to the families affected by a broken immigration system, he promised to act to reform immigration laws. However, the only change that we have seen is the increase of deportations. Under his administration, deportations have reached the record number of more than a thousand per day, horribly damaging our communities: Parents are separated from their families, children are made orphans or forced into single parent homes, families are deprived of an income, immigrants are stored in detention center and there some find their death, and the dreams and future of students and youth are truncated. Deportation is a cruel punishment for families exercising their right to the pursue of happiness.
If the system is broken, as President Obama has often repeated, the application of the oppressive and inhumane system that criminalize immigrants must be stopped, until the promises for a fair and just immigration policy materializes. The circle of broken families, undermined workers rights, criminalized students and parents, and inhumane detentions must cease first. This is a necessary condition for a “fair and just” reform. Only then, when free from repression, immigrant can be part of the political debate surrounding immigration reform.
But meanwhile, anti-immigrant laws, like Arizona’s SB 1070, perpetuate fear and hate. Thus, while we call upon President Obama to issue a moratorium on all deportations, we will also organize and fight to defeat any racist law attempting to scapegoat our immigrant brothers and sisters. We will fight against immigration laws violating civil and human rights.
The “illegalization” of immigrant workers and their families is an attack to the rights of all. In this global economic system that forces mass migration from underdeveloped countries, we need to rethink immigration policies. Crossing a border to find a job and better future should be recognized a right, not a crime, and any attempt to criminalize it is nothing but an aftertaste of a past comfortable with using racism to enslave and deny civil and political rights. The clock will not be turned back.
We demand a moratorium on deportations now, but only as a first step for a just and humane immigration system, one which does not know of deportations, detention centers and such.