DALLAS — North Texas Jobs with Justice joined activists across the nation Oct. 12 in protesting Social Security’s relatively new involvement in immigration law enforcement.

Outside the office building at 1301 Young Street, where the regional office of Social Security is headquartered, state Rep. Roberto Alonzo led a delegation of activists that included local members of ACORN, Unite Here, the United Food and Commercial Workers, Alliance/AFT (teachers), and the United Auto Workers. They presented Wes Davis, the regional Social Security communications director, with a packet of protest letters from area union, church and community leaders.

Reporters asked why the activity was taking place, since a San Francisco judge had ruled just two days earlier that Social Security must be temporarily restrained from its role, assigned by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Aug. 10, in pressuring employers to fire workers whose names do not match their Social Security numbers.

The response was that the public needs to know how DHS is attempting to hijack one of America’s most valuable social programs and use it against working people.

Social Security was never meant to serve as an identification number, an activist said. The database is often incorrect because of the ways that people spell their names, the ways that people change their names, and the fact that different ethnic groups treat their names differently. The point was made that the DHS rule would tend to discriminate against any foreign or dark-skinned worker.

Alonzo called for a fair resolution of immigration problems at the national level. He decried recent local efforts by political opportunists, racists and other reactionaries to impose their own “solutions” on the immigration problem.

For example, Farmers Branch, a suburb of Dallas, recently ruled that undocumented workers could not live in their town. In a more recent anti-Latino effort, reactionaries launched a campaign to stop people from painting their homes with bright colors.

Efforts are being made in nearby Irving to increase deportations. Such actions have reached a point where the Mexican Consul has cautioned Latinos about avoiding the city. School officials in Irving are concerned by the drastic increase in school truancy, as families move toward a more underground existence.

As the Dallas protest showed, rebuffs to the government-encouraged rise in anti-immigrant sentiment are also increasing in North Texas.

flittle7 @yahoo.com