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Posted on Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 1 p.m.

Political group plans immigration reform panel at Washtenaw Community College

By Amy Biolchini

Editor's note: The spelling of Andrew Bronstein's and Charo Ledon's names have been corrected.

A local extension of national political group Organizing for Action is hosting an immigration reform event Tuesday, April 30 at Washtenaw Community College.

Organizing for Action Washtenaw is a grass-roots extension of the national nonprofit organization advocating for President Barack Obama’s agenda.

"Immigration Reform: Local Stories" will be in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College at 4800 East Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor Township.

The free event from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 30 will feature a seven-member panel speaking on why immigration reform is needed.

Two members of the panel will be Washtenaw County residents that recently immigrated to the United States: Ibrahem Jariri and Vinoliah Mtshiyaa.

Jariri came to the U.S. in 2011 from Amman, Jordan. He’s now a preschool teacher in Ann Arbor. Mtshiyaa immigrated to the U.S. from Zimbabwe in 2000 seeking political asylum.

Other panelists include:

President Obama and many Democrats in the U.S. Senate have pushed for immigration reform legislation to move forward. The bill would create a path for immigrants without legal permission to be the U.S. to become citizens.

Andrew Bronstein, chairman of the steering committee for Organizing for Action Washtenaw, said the panel will give people in Washtenaw County the opportunity for people to advocate their own interests on national issues.

“We will encourage participants to contact their legislators and advocate for immigration reform,” Bronstein said. “It’s a great way to get involved with community organizing work in Washtenaw County.”

Organizing for Action Washtenaw has hosted two events this year. The first event was March 23 and was a community discussion on the impacts of federal budget sequestration. The second event was a protest April 6 outside the Federal Building downtown Ann Arbor calling for "common-sense gun legislation."

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

I agree with the lack of logic statement. Relaxing immigration laws when we just let a terrorist, who was on the FBI watch list, get citizenship and welfare. The proposed law change will let those who are breaking immigration laws by living here, be granted citizenship more easily then those who respect immigration laws. I agree, this makes no sense.


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

so much anger. so little reason and logic.


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 8:07 a.m.

Way too vague: what is the name of the immigration bill being discussed (and promoted) here? Is it S 744?

martini man

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 12:45 a.m.

Jus' dem ol' libdrools doing'what they do best . Makes me feel sooo safe and secure.


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

Just more obamacrap......( this will get nixed i'm sure )


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

The new immigration bill in the Senate was crafted by 8 Senators, 4 from each party. It has a chance to pass. No one loves the bill, but if you talk to some people they have issues with one part and if you talk to other people they have issues with another part. This is what is called compromise, something that Congress used to be good at 50 or so years ago. If either side works to hard to change the parts they don't like, the bill will probably fail and it will be another 5 to 10 years before someone tries again, just like when President Bush (Huh, really, yes really!) started to work on the issue and backed down because it was clear no compromise could be found, there was no middle ground. This time a group of people have worked hard to try to find a middle ground, it is over 800 pages of new law, no one gets a complete victory, but it should not only fix the current situation but it should make things better in the future. As to the comments on "takers" the bill prohibits the use of means tested government services (e.g. bridge cards, welfare, section 8, etc.) while a person is in "registered provisional" status. More details can be found at:


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

Agree DonBee, Folks thinking with thumbs again. Listened to their news conference. Well thought out compromises.


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

One would hope that the Rubio/Schumer (now there's a combination you don't see often) immigration bill would be discussed.

Ivor Ivorsen

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

Wow! I am really encouraged by most of the previous comments. Keep it up please! Fear-mongering, ethnic stereotyping, and xenophobia worked so well for you and in 2012. See you in 2016!

Ivor Ivorsen

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

Thank you for validating my previous comment.

bill s

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 10:56 p.m.

Hey Igor, this is all about bringing uneducated parasites across a wide open border who will vote for the party of "Free Stuff". They will go on welfare, collect food stamps, and get ObamaCare and ObamaPhones, and will vote for anyone who gives them a free ride. The vast majority of Americans are NOT in favor of amnesty, and want the border closed. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will get their open border, and in 2016 we will begin a one party system. After that it gets ugly...


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

Hmm. I guess issuing press releases for a partisan political group counts as journalism these days.

Ed Kimball

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

Yes, and it always has.


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

I find it curious that they did not invite anyone from ICE to present their views on the illegal immigration issues. Then participants might get the rest of the story.

Linda Peck

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 7:07 p.m.

Yes, we need reform. We need to close our borders now. The whole world seems to want to come here. This is not the wide empty frontier anymore. We have more than enough people here.


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

This land never was a "wide empty frontier". There were people already living here when the Europeans came. It is interesting to me that the descendents of immigrants are so opposed to further immigration.

Jay Thomas

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

So they are gun grabbers too. Figures. Yes, yes, lets just open the borders completely. While we take in more immigrants through the legal immigration process than all other countries on earth put together, it must be unfair somehow. Oh, and just think of all the new democrat voters! Utopia, we are on our way (If we don't go bankrupt first.)


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 11:24 a.m.

Didn't the ancestors of "native americans" migrate to the americas over a land bridge with asia? That's what I was taught. Wouldn't that make them "immigrants", too?


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 10:22 a.m.

Ordmad, your comment seems to imply that the Native Americans (a rather broad cover term for many widely dispersed groups) had some sort of sense of national identity and some kind of an immigration policy. Neither, I believe, was the case. While I don't condone our treatment of the indigenous population, the two situations are not analogous. European settlers came and took land (which was going unworked, for the most part), which they made productive. They did not take, in any systematic ways, benefits from the indigenous people. See the difference?


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 4:43 a.m.

If you are not Native American this is hypocritical.


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

Immigration reform means constant additional tax burdens on the dwindling number of those still working in a paying job. To the Democrats, immigration reform includes open, porous borders ,welfare,"bridge cards," Medicaid, food stamps, in-state tuition at the best public universities, free cell phones, and the list goes on and on. Do we need another Boston Marathon tragedy to st see what the Democrats' largesse and poor control of borders bought us.


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

Ed, do you remember when we use to call these folks illegal allies? This is because they are not in our country legally. this disrespect for immigration laws should not make it easier for them to become citizens.

Ed Kimball

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

Poorman, the bill currently in Congress will not allow those with felony convictions or three or more misdemeanor convictions become citizens.


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 10:42 a.m.

A recent fact would be the example of the alleged Boston marathon terrorist, who while on the FBI watch list became a citizen, posted anti-American statements on the Internet, collected welfare, and continued to be part of a radical Islamic group. The proposed reform is a relaxation of restrictions for citizenship at a time when it appears too loose. If I understand this reform proposal, we would be more likely to allow those who are in the country illegally to be citizens. Breaking our laws should reduce your chances for citizenship.


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 4:42 a.m.

Be nice if there was one actual fact in what you say. Oh well.


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

Open borders and shamnesty. What could possibly go wrong with that?


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

The use of a logo associated with a seated President is cheap.


Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

Hi Ed, How can keeping 20 million illegals here, many on the public tab (i.e. Boston bombers) on the public tab help the middle class who pays for it? It also makes it hard for those of us who are legal to collect our piece of the pie. Why are you so intent on keeping people here (and PAYING FOR THEM) when they have entered the country illegally. This is a plan for financial disaster. In any other country in the world you would be arrested and deported if you were lucky. Here we give them financial aid and word hard to keep them here. They know that and continue to come here since they cannot get that in their own country. Cut that off, enforce E-verify, and they will self-deport. That is the correct answer and then let them apply like everyone else like my ancestors did.

Ed Kimball

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

No, Mike, it will change the country for a long time and expand the middle class instead of eviscerating it as Reagan and the Bushes did.


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 11:06 a.m.

This is the presidents past coming to your neighborhood................he was a community organizer and would be proud to see his logo and especially that they are fighting to make the illegals legal. That means 20 million new democrat voters in ten years. This will change the country for a long time and destroy the middle class