The following is a statement issued on Thursday, January 21, 2021. You can download our press release here: Gamaliel Statement on Zoom Bombing Attack
During a scheduled press conference by our Civil Rights of Immigrants campaign on January 21, 2021, the Gamaliel Network was the target of a Zoom bombing attack. We believe this was a premeditated, targeted attack intended to silence us as we called upon the Biden Administration to enact comprehensive immigration reform in his first 100 days in office.
We’d like to thank the speakers who bravely shared their testimonies and spoke out for immigrants’ rights at our press conference: Miguel Rodriguez, Ben Ramirez, Reverend Nelson Rabell-González, Walda Lanza, U.S Representative Lou Correa (CA-46), Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, Lydia Camarillo, Jennifer Perez and Diana Perez.
But these cyber criminals have only succeeded in proving how powerful our message truly is. We know that immigrants, undocumented persons, and their allies are under constant attack by those who fear true social, political and economic equity in our country. Gamaliel and our affiliates are not afraid of such attacks. We will not stop pushing for a complete inclusive immigration reform until all people have an attainable path to citizenship and all people, regardless of citizenship status, are protected under the law. Our work is especially urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic; while undocumented immigrants have always been essential to the United States’ economy, those essential workers are now even more vulnerable to dangerous working conditions and disparities in access to government relief efforts. We will not stop working to bring attention to this vital issue.
“I was horrified by the hateful nature of those who perpetrated this Cyber attack. As a member of the clergy, and as an Afro-Caribbean Latino, I felt victimized by this hateful intrusion into our press conference,” said Rev. Nelson H. Rabell-González, M. Div., STM, and BSME. “We are advocating for millions of marginalized migrants whose voices need to be heard. I pray that we may not be discouraged by this hateful attack, and continue our work of advocating for a comprehensive immigration reform, so that the new Biden Administration and the US Congress may pass a bill that grants justice to the more than 11 million essential workers, who are undocumented immigrants.”
Even now, Thursday’s attack has spurred action from Gamaliel’s leaders. Many leaders who witnessed the Zoom bombing were convinced that if our message was important enough to merit attack, it required immediate action. Those leaders immediately called their representatives to demand that they act on our call for Complete Inclusive Immigration Reform. We urge all who are upset by the attack and who read this message to do the same.
“Today, our community, a training called Community Organizing for Transformative Ministry, witnessed and listened to the stories of immigrants. Unfortunately for us, this event was disrupted by a toxic Zoom Bomber. As a class and a community of people who care about justice, we are undeterred. We will make calls to our Representatives. In total, we represent 17 of states and 23 Congressional Districts,” said Mary Lim-Lampe, a Gamaliel trainer and organizer, on behalf of the training cohort.
Our vision for Complete Inclusive Immigration Reform includes the following urgent demands upon the Biden Administration:
- Moratorium on all deportations.
- Free all detained immigrants who have no history of violence and/or who are at high risk from COVID-19.
- Expand COVID-19 relief to include all undocumented immigrants.
- Provide ALL undocumented essential workers protective status and work permits.
- Expand and create permanent protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
- Create a pathway to citizenship.
- Reverse Trump’s racist immigration policies.
- Remove the Public Charge Rule.
- Remove practice of family separation at the border.
- Restore family reunification as a priority in evaluating family petitions.
- Reinstate Temporary Protection Status (TPS).
- Remove the “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers.
- Restore application costs (Citizenship, LPR) to pre-Trump costs.
- End the funding of private prisons that incarcerate undocumented immigrants. Close all detention centers.
- End militarized funding of immigration enforcement.
- Hold ICE CBP/ agents accountable for abuses of power and include a quarterly accountability report.
- Abolish ICE from local law enforcement.
- Address root causes of migration through financial inclusion and empowerment of remittances.
- Mobilize low cost remittance for savings bonds for development
- Invest in Sustainable employment in high migration sending communities
- Focus on development to address climate change roots of migration