The Resource Center of the Americas (RCA) was a nonprofit organization whose mission was “to create social change both in the United States and Latin America.” It agitated for unrestricted immigration across U.S. borders and amnesty for illegal immigrants already residing in the United States. And it opposed American foreign policies in general, particularly the embargo against Cuba and the current U.S. military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2003 RCA joined likeminded organizations in successfully lobbying the Minneapolis City Council to pass a “sanctuary” regulation forbidding social workers, police, and other city employees from inquiring into the residency status of suspected illegal aliens. RCA Executive Director Frank Vardeman stated that this ordinance “makes clear that city employees will not act as intelligence agents or enforcement arms for the national administration’s anti-immigrant policies.” RCA supported the “Declaration of Civil Rights for Immigrants,” which called for similar sanctuary policies across the United States, advocated the granting of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and sought to restrict the federal government’s authority to detain or deport illegal aliens who had committed crimes in the U.S.
On September 13, 2006, RCA posted on its website an article titled “We Are Not Illegals,” which demanded that Americans “start humanizing the face of immigration now!” “This is not about what should the people at the center of the immigration debate be called,” the article said, “but about what THE PEOPLE CALL THEMSELVES [emphasis in original] — We are not ‘illegals.’ No Somos ‘ilegales.’ We demand that all media stop imposing the terminology ‘illegal immigrants’ on us and our fellow immigrant people.”
RCA was a member organization of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers (MAP), which opposes the war on terror, endorses global disarmament, and accuses the U.S. of having incited whatever terrorist attacks are carried out against it. RCA’s fellow MAP members included Friends for a Non-Violent World, the National Lawyers Guild, Nonviolent Peaceforce, the Palestine-Israel Justice Project, Pax Christi, Veterans for Peace, Witness For Peace, Women Against Military Madness, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
RCA saw the “global economy” as “a system in which a minority flourishes while millions of people lack adequate food, shelter and employment.” RCA was a signatory to a 1999 petition of self-identified “civil society” organizations that opposed globalization, big business in general, and “any effort to expand the powers of the World Trade Organization (WTO) through a new comprehensive round of trade liberalization.” A notable cosigner of this petition was Global Exchange Director Medea Benjamin, who was a chief organizing force behind the November 1999 riots in Seattle, where some 50,000 protesters destroyed millions of dollars worth of property in their effort to shut down the WTO Conference in that city.
RCA closed down its operations in August 2007 “due to continuing and insurmountable financial challenges.”