For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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(WASHINGTON)–Prominent Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) leaders from across the country rose in unison during the House immigration markup hearings to vocally oppose the extreme anti-immigrant bill introduced by House Republicans, HR 2278.
The bill represents a desperate, far-right measure by House Republicans to impose their will on the majority of Americans who have time and again supported and voted for sensible comprehensive immigration reform. The bill would take the extreme measure of instantly turning millions of undocumented fathers, mothers and workers into criminals, mimicking the far-right Sensenbrenner bill of 2005, and attempting to nationalize Arizona’s infamous SB 1070.
Following their disruption of the House markup proceedings, the immigrant rights leaders, who are executive directors of organizations with FIRM, released the following statements:
“Previous far-right efforts to criminalize immigrant and Latino families galvanized and helped mobilize our communities, igniting a political backlash that punishes opponents of reform once and again – as recently as the last presidential election. And for good reason: Our families are not criminals. We are mothers, aspiring doctors, teachers, DREAMers, engineers, farmworkers and job creators.” –Lawrence Benito, Chief Executive Officer, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
“This bill signals that House Republicans will take any opportunity to score political points with their base at our expense. It criminalizes families who are part of the fabric of America. It tears fathers and mothers from their children. It is not pro-enforcement; it is anti-family. Have House Republicans learned nothing from the 2012 elections?”—Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice, Center for Community Change.
“Like any other American in pursuit of the American Dream, we will not accept the criminalization of our families. As long as Republicans seek to treat us as criminals and destroy our families, we will continue to mobilize, organize, register, and turn out voters, until the last anti-family extremist has been voted out of office. Experienced elected officials understand that quashing and denigrating immigrant families brings political consequences. Come the next election, we will ensure that House Republicans get the memo as well.”—Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
The following FIRM leaders were also at the hearing today: Eva Millona, Executive Director, Massachusetts Immigrant and Advocacy Coalition; Gustavo Torres, Executive Director, CASA de Maryland; Stephen Fotopulos, Executive Directors, Tennessee Immigrant Coalition; Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition; DJ Yoon, Executive Director, National American Korean Service and Education Consortium; and Ryan Bates, Executive Director, Michigan United.