A project of the Center for Community Change

Monthly Archives: January 2018

The State of Our Union: The Fight for the Soul of Our Country Continues

For Immediate Release: January 30, 2018

The State of Our Union: The Fight for the Soul of Our Country Continues

Watch Video Here: http://bit.ly/2DXZ4bn

(WASHINGTON)—During his first year in office, Donald Trump has jeopardized the lives of millions of immigrants, holding them hostage unless Congress passes his racist immigration agenda. Tonight he will deliver his State of the Union, which might as well be rebranded as the State of the White Union. More than a dozen young immigrants from the FIRM network, have been invited by Members of Congress to the State of the Union.

Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, delivered the State of Our Union via video ahead of Trump’s address tonight. Her remarks below.

“Americans believe families should be together. Trump is determined to tear them apart. We know America’s strength is in its many colors, many cultures and many customs. Trump wants America to be defined by one race. While you and I see America as the land of opportunity, Trump sees it as a playground for the rich and powerful.

Americans long for unity. Trump insists on dividing us.

If you doubt me – look at what is in his ransom note to America: an end to family reunification in immigration, a return to racist pre-civil rights era priorities, an unleashing of militarized immigration police to terrorize American neighborhoods, and a $25 billion dollar pointless wall to isolate us from our neighbors in the south.

We cannot surrender to these white nationalist demands. Americans are not with Trump on this.

And despite Trump and his Republican enablers unleashing a torrent of hate, immigrants still believe in the America of possibility. We are all in for this fight for America’s soul.

Immigrants are human beings who deserve the same respect, dignity and concern that any good American would show their neighbor.

But the America we all believe in, will not be gifted to us. We have to fight for it together. And 2018 must be the year we win.

Tonight I share my voice; tomorrow I will organize. I will get up every day to fight for a clean Dream Act, to register new voters and make sure they turn out. We will never give up. We will never give in.”

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Toxic Immigration Ransom Note Threatens Our Democracy

For Immediate Release: January 25, 2018   

Toxic Immigration Ransom Note Threatens Our Democracy

(WASHINGTON)—Today the White House rolled out its immigration proposal. The following is the reaction of Kica Matos, Fair Immigration Reform Movement spokesperson:

“The white supremacists who operate in the White House without hoods have hijacked the immigration debate in our country, attempting to hold young, undocumented immigrants hostage in exchange for a vile, extremely racist agenda that will drag our country back to the pre-civil rights era. The proposed immigration framework is also another attempt by the White House to undermine the delicate, bipartisan work happening in Congress.

Extreme cuts to legal immigration include eliminating family reunification and ending the diversity visa program. Not to mention $25 billion dollars for a ridiculous border wall. Let us not forget Trump promised that Mexico would fund his ludicrous idea.

This framework is the antithesis to who we are as Americans and the values we claim as ours. Family is the cornerstone of our communities. Instead of bringing our country together, this Administration has sowed the seeds of division and hate towards immigrants, leaving the state of our union bleak.”

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FIRM Network Takes Over Congressional Republican Offices to Demand the DREAM Act Now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 18, 2018

FIRM Network Takes Over Congressional Republican Offices to Demand the DREAM Act Now

Nineteen protestors arrested as Senators McConnell, Cotton, Cornyn and Grassley and Representative McCarthy see their offices filled with dozens of DREAMers, parents, teachers, and activists

(Washington, D.C.)—More than 100 immigrants, activists, educators, students and allies protested in the offices of Congressional Republicans to demand they withhold their vote for a continuing resolution that does not include the DREAM Act. Protesters held sit-ins in the offices of Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA 23rd District) and Senators McConnell (R-KY), Cotton (R-AR), Cornyn (R-TX) and Grassley (R-IA), leading to the arrest of 19 people.

“These fearless DREAMers and activists have escalated their actions into civil disobedience actions, putting their bodies on the line in order to get the DREAM Act passed,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos. “Trump threw an entire generation of young adults onto a space of fear and uncertainty when he ended DACA, and Congress has demonstrated its spinelessness in the face of white supremacy.”

Tens of thousands of DACAmented adults have already lost the protections afforded to them under DACA. They have lost their driver’s licenses, work permits, and the ability to enroll in public universities and receive in-state tuition in some states.

In addition to the sit-ins and civil disobedience, FIRM members met with Members during scheduled and drop in visits. The FIRM participants came from 16 states, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Congress’ failure to find a solution and act now to protect DREAMers is unconscionable,” added Matos.

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