A project of the Center for Community Change

Press Releases

National Exhibit Puts People First to Highlight Importance of Ruling on Administrative Relief

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 6, 2016

Contact: Carlos Vogel, 202-460-0713, cvogel@communitychange.org

Photos, stories, and art exhibition featured in several US cities to highlight why immigration relief programs are needed

Washington, DC – Today, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), along with world renowned artists and co-directors of the movie “A Day without a Mexican” Yarely Arizmendi and Sergio Arau, and directly impacted families hosted “The Faces of DAPA and DACA+ Exhibition”  featuring photos and  stories of individuals and directly impacted families. The exhibition seeks to educate and highlight the importance of the Supreme Court to rule in favor President Obama’s executive orders on DACA+ and DAPA.

The “Faces of DAPA/DACA+” is a travelling exhibit that was launched by FIRM  in Los Angeles, CA  in April, and has traveled to Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and is ending in Washington, D.C.   The exhibit features striking photos and compelling stories of immigrant families across the country who are eligible for “DAPA and DACA+”, the executive orders issued by President Obama in November 2014 which would allow millions of immigrant families to live without fear of family separation and provide work authorization so that they can live, work and contribute even more to their communities.

“I am an undocumented immigrant in New York with five children, who would qualify for DAPA since one of my children is a permanent resident in the US,” Said Juana Garcia, DAPA eligible and Make the Road New York member. “Obtaining DAPA would give me the opportunity to finally work legally in this country, have a better job, and not live in fear of being separated from my family. Although I already run my own small business, the broken immigration system has kept me from gaining the stability I need in this country. With DAPA, everything would change for me and my family.”

“I’m from Mexico City, and I have lived in the United States for 15 years. My wife Claudia and I are parents of three wonderful daughters. I own a small business on the south side of Milwaukee where we are dedicated to fixing cars. I support the struggle because I am an immigrant and I believe in social justice,” stated Julio, a DAPA Eligible immigrant from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “DAPA would provide us with safety and a real opportunity to move around the state and country which is much more difficult without papers. I would ask the Supreme Court justices for an opportunity to show that I, like many immigrants, come seeking a better life.”

“I left my country so that my children could have a much better future than I had. I have three children that have DACA, another one who is a citizen, and a daughter who just became eligible for DACA,” stated Carolina, DAPA eligible from Cayuga Park, CA.I’m thankful for DACA because my oldest daughter is going to graduate in May and major in business and marketing. DAPA would change my family’s life because we would be able to stay together. We would finally be able to have a better quality of life without having to worry about being separated through deportation.”

“After we made the film, “A Day Without A Mexican,” we discovered that this personal thing is shared by millions of people who have the same stories,” said the film’s director Sergio Arau. “When I moved to the U.S., after two years I was so depressed. In Mexico I did many things. I was a political cartoonist and a musician and suddenly it was like I disappeared. We had to do something that valued our presence here, because I felt like no one cared. Yareli added that “we had to organize something like a day without a Mexican so that they can recognize what we do here. The short film went to a lot of festivals and a lot of noise.”

Today’s exhibit also featured a discussion with artists, and directors Arizmendi and Arau.  The exhibit will be on public display through Thursday, June 10 at the Center for Community Change office here. On Friday, June 11, the exhibition will be displayed on the steps of the Supreme Court during a rally and vigil from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

To visit the virtual Faces of DACA and DAPA Exhibition, please click here


Obama’s Reported Plan to Terrorize People Seeking Refuge is Outrageous

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 12, 2016
CONTACT: Carlos Vogel, (202) 239-2133, cvogel@communitychange.org

Obama’s Reported Plan to Terrorize People Seeking Refuge is Outrageous

(Washington, D.C.) – The following is a statement from Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) following news reports by Reuters that the Obama Administration is planning a month-long series of raids in May and June to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children.

“The Obama administration’s reported plan to launch a new wave of raids against Central American mothers and children in May and June is outrageous, horrific and unacceptable.  These raids will accomplish nothing but to create fear and terror throughout the country. The Administration’s logic is also flawed — deportations have not served as a deterrent –instead, they are a quick fix that carry with it terrible consequences. What we need instead are sensible policies grounded on our nation’s principles.

“FIRM demands that President Obama and his Administration immediately put an end to this reported plan to raid people’s homes, terrorize families and rip them apart. If these mothers and children are deported, they would be returned to places they fled to escape being killed, raped or tortured. We know already that scores of refugees have been killed shortly after being deported to Central American countries by the Obama administration. The government must work to ensure that anyone in the country seeking protection is afforded safety, not deportation.

“FIRM will do everything in its power to ensure families are safe. We cannot and we will not remain silent when our families are living in fear of being separated and sent back to face possible harm, including death. President Obama betrayal of this country’s values and will mark his legacy and that of this administration.”


Thousands to Rally at Supreme Court Steps for President’s Immigration Action

For Planning Purposes: Monday, April 11, 2016
Contact: Carlos Vogel, 202-239-2133, cvogel@communitychange.org



Rally at Supreme Court at 9:00AM

20+ Echo Actions


FIRM Leaders and Supporters Rally for DAPA and DACA+ at Supreme Court and Across 20+ Cities

WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, April 18, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), along with thousands of families and advocates will gather at the U.S. Supreme Court to show their support for President Obama’s immigration executive action. The Court will be hearing oral argument on the deferred action initiatives, DAPA and expanded DACA.

Members of Congress, elected officials, and community, civil rights and labor leaders will join families eligible for deferred action and thousands more to send a strong message in defense of the president’s immigration action.

As leaders and supporters call on the justices to lift the block against the initiatives at the steps of the Supreme Court, more than twenty cities will be holding actions to echo their call and urge elected leaders to champion these lawful immigration programs.

WHAT:           The Fair Immigration reform Movement “Fight for Families” Rally at the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the president’s immigration initiatives; echo actions in more than 20 cities across the country.

WHEN:          April 18, Monday, at 9 AM (U.S. Supreme Court steps)

WHERE:        U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First St NE, Washington, DC 20543

                        For a complete list of the echo actions and their location and time, visit fightforfamilies.org.

WHO:           The Fair Immigration reform Movement (FIRM), DAPA/DACA-eligible families, members of Congress, city elected officials, and labor, community and civil rights leaders.

Performances by Howard University choir and others.

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