A project of the Center for Community Change

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Keep Families Together Summit

Last week, 84 families, leaders and staff members from 21 states came to Washington, DC to participate in the Keep Families Together Summit. These immigration advocates took part in extensive training sessions to bring new leadership, communication and organizing skills back to their home states. They also embarked on two days of legislative visits, press conferences and major actions, demanding that Congress act once and for all on immigration reform, and that the White House put an end to the senseless deportations that are tearing families apart.

Angelica Salas, Executive Director of the FIRM group the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said that families came to DC with one message; “…that we will never stop fighting to stop the family separation crisis that grips our community and that our political voice will not be silenced. We want a path to citizenship now and we want needless deportations which tear our families apart to end.”

Check out this video, courtesy of Reform Immigration for America, for a complete recap of last week’s events:

GOP: Can You Hear Us Yet?

On Wednesday, July 10, two of our teammates participated in a rally as the GOP caucused on immigration.  We are calling on Speaker Boehner and the House GOP to stand up and support immigration reform by advancing the bipartisan Senate bill.  Here are their reflections from the rally.

Adam

We gathered on the lawn between the Capitol and the House Office Buildings – House Republicans were meeting a short distance away, at the same time, to determine a course of action on the immigration reform bill under debate.

1Through bouts of rain and sweltering heat, hundreds of demonstrators and organizers marched, chanted, and held signs urging lawmakers in the House to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. There was a palpable energy on the lawn, sustained for a long time so that our voices would be heard within the GOP’s secret conclave.

Although developments in the House may seem dispiriting, I am encouraged by the vibrancy and diversity of Wednesday’s rally. I was delighted to wake up the next day to a report on NPR about the demonstration. Pundits may speculate and sound bites may circulate, but evidence is growing that voters of all stripes wish to see an overhaul of the immigration system.

It’s time that leadership in the House acknowledges, embraces, and acts on public opinion. How many new polls do we need to read to understand that immigration reform has the support of Republicans – even those who self-identify as Tea Partiers?  How long must we wait before lawmakers like Speaker Boehner realize the demands of their constituents? I want to see them be responsive to the people.

It’s time that Representatives, well, represent. Click here if you want to join me in telling them the time is NOW for action!

Jingru

We gave the House Republicans a “welcome” to the caucus meeting that we know they heard and hope they won’t forget. Hundreds of immigrant families, DREAMers, supporters, and faith leaders rallied in front of the Capitol under 90°F heat.

House Republicans might not be happy about the Senate immigration bill, but it’s time they listened to the people instead of insisting that they are not going to pass the bill. Their own proposed legislation – which has not been released but will likely not include a pathway to citizenship – will not reflect the desires of the majority of Americans.  We want reform, and we want a path to citizenship – and we want it NOW!

Republican and Independent voters may just stop voting for Republicans altogether if the immigration reform bill cannot be passed. Americans don’t want to see families hurt, and the House GOP seems hell-bent on destroying as many immigrant lives as possible.

Congress, remember, we vote in November, and we will vote again in 2014. It’s not the first time heard from us, and we won’t wait forever. Time is ticking.

House Republicans: Our Deadline is August 2nd

11As House Republicans debate whether or not they will act on immigration reform, they should remember the deadline of Aug. 2nd that the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) has set for the House to pass a bill containing a pathway to citizenship.

Until then, and if House GOP members decide to ignore the deadline, FIRM will continue to support actions such as driving calls to Congress, sending emails and petitions, holding rallies, town hall meetings, the works. We will remind any lawmaker who votes against immigration reform that our political power will be unleashed against them come election time.

So I hope House Republicans use their summer wisely and act in a bipartisan manner, like the Senate did, to craft an immigration reform bill that contains a pathway to citizenship and keeps families together. And act quickly to make the Aug. 2nd deadline. If not, we will make sure they hear our voices during their summer recess period.

 

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