A Pro-Enforcement Immigration Activist Remembers John Lewis: His Protest Speech Against Georgia’s “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act” to 5000 Screaming Illegal Aliens and Their Handlers – March, 2011
“We all live in the same house, if any one of us is illegal then we all are illegal.”
Curiously omitted from the gushing praise from the media: Civil Rights icon John Lewis was anti-enforcement on immigration.
Below: John Lewis, Member of Congress to about 5000 illegal aliens and their handlers in front of the Georgia state Capitol, protesting possible passage of HB 87, the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011” – March 24, 2011.
Section by section explanation of the enforcement legislation here.
My newspaper column at the time (before blacklisting) with a description of the street-screamers protest and a short explanation of the Republican Establishment politics involved in opposing passage here.
HB 87 passed and is Georgia state law. Enforcement is largely ignored.
Transcript from Rev.com. Three-minute video below that.
“Good afternoon, my sisters and brothers. Thank you to every one of you for being here. As Martin Luther King Jr said on one occasion, “There’s not anything more powerful than the commitment and the dedication of a determined people.” You are determined.
You, you must not give up. You must not give in. Continue to do everything possible to keep this bill from passing [crosstalk 00:00:44]. Many, many years ago, when I had all of my hair and a few pounds lighter. When I was involved, counseling in the civil rights movement, I got arrested a few times, 40 times.
I was beaten, left bloodied but I didn’t give up, and you must not give up. [crosstalk 00:01:22] immigration, it’s not a state issue, it is not a county issue, it is not a city issue, it is the issue of the National Government and not the Government of the state of Georgia.
As a matter of fact, we all are brothers and sisters. It doesn’t matter whether we’re Black, White, Latino, Asian American, Native American we’re one people, we’re one family.
We all live in the same house, if any one of us is illegal then we all are illegal. There’s no illegal human being. I’ve said over and over again, all across America, we must say out to the state of Georgia and to other states that we do not want Arizona-type legislation here in the state of Georgia.
So, keep it up. If any of you get arrested and go to jail, I’m prepared to get arrested and go to jail with you. If one of us are arrested, if one of us are put in jail, we all should be put in jail. The jails in Georgia, the jails of America are not large enough to hold all of us.
Get out there. Get out there. Make some noise, work hard and we will get justice here in the state of Georgia and all around America. Organize. Organize. Speak up, speak out, keep the faith.”