A project of the Center for Community Change

Press Releases

Fair Immigration Reform Movement Will Fight Any Attempts to Create a Deportation Force

For Immediate Release: Friday, Feb. 17, 2017

Contact: Susana Flores, susana@4rceinitiatives.com (915) 525-2434

(WASHINGTON)—Here is a statement from Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), on a news report that the Trump Administration is considering deploying the National Guard to roundup undocumented immigrants:

“News reports that President Trump is considering mobilizing the National Guard to round up immigrants is a declaration of war not only on our communities, but on American principles. By even considering this, Trump is creating more fear and panic among millions of immigrants while continuing to wage his unprecedented war on immigrants, sweeping up people in raids who have no criminal records.

“It is not enough that the White House is denying this report. DHS Secretary John Kelly and President Trump need to state publicly he is not forming a deportation force. Immigrant families are already being terrorized by ICE agents, and many being arrested have no criminal histories. Trump’s policies have unleashed a barrage of pure hatred and racism directed at people who wanted nothing more than to make better lives for their families in the U.S.”

“In the Associated Press report today, the proposal would mobilize the National Guard in 11 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Utah. FIRM groups will be engaging with governors to ensure we are standing up to those who are instilling fear in our communities with hate-filled policies.”

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Hatred Unleashed: Trump Turns America Against Immigrants

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017

Contact: Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org (202) 339-9331

Declares War on Immigrant Families Targeting Sanctuary Cities and Ramping up of Deportations

(WASHINGTON)–Today, in remarks at the Department of Homeland Security, President Donald Trump announced a series of policy initiatives aimed at tearing families apart, shutting off funding to sanctuary cities and attacking the very heart of America’s immigrant tradition.

Here is a statement from Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM):

“Today’s announcements are the stuff of nightmares. Only in our darkest fears could Americans imagine such heartless treatment of human beings. Families will suffer from fear and uncertainty because of today’s announcements.”

“President Donald Trump today declared war on immigrant families by targeting the cities that offer them sanctuary from hateful policies like the ones his administration is embracing.”

“By issuing an executive order to cut funding to the hundreds of cities and counties who have identified as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants Trump is cementing his stamp of hatred and bigotry to a huge segment of our population. The faith community founded sanctuary cities to protect refugees and immigrants from harsh policies and will continue to dos so. The immigrant rights community and its supporters will continue to fight hard to protect our families from all egregious policies.”

“We are heartened that so many sanctuary cities, including New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles, have vowed to fight the Trump administration. We encourage all sanctuary cities and counties and all Americans who believe that keeping families together rather than tearing them apart is what our federal government should be focused on.”

“Trump also reiterated his wish to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and create more detention areas along the border. Trump should focus on building infrastructure like roads and bridges rather than focus on a wall that would only stand as a symbol of his hatred. He also called for the tripling of ICE agents at a time when he has ordered a hiring freeze at other federal agencies that work to serve people like our veterans.”

“According to an analysis from the Center for American Progress, a mass deportation strategy would cost an average of $10,070 per person, for a total of $114 billion to remove 11.3 million people. Trump will no doubt ask U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill.”

“In addition to being immoral and un-American, these polices serve no purpose other than to normalize hate and demonize immigrants. America’s borders are more secure than they have ever been. Trump’s irresponsible and dishonest spouting to the contrary is an egregious lie. The families who will be deported under these polices are hard-working Americans in every way, who contribute every day to build better communities and a better nation. Trump has made America weaker today.”

“Finally, the immigrant rights movement believes Trump has made a colossal political blunder. Poll after poll shows he has not moved Americans toward his anti-immigrant hatred. The vast majority of Americans will see these policies as mean-spirited and undermining the very essence of our American values. From our despair we build the power necessary to wash away this stain on our nation forever.”

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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

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