A project of the Center for Community Change


CNN #NoHateDebate Was in Fact a Hate Debate

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015

Contact: Carlos Vogel, 202-239-2133, cvogel@cccaction.org

The following statement is from Sulma Arias, Spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) in response to the second GOP presidential debate hosted by CNN:

“Tonight, GOP candidates once again treated immigrant families, blacks and working families as their punching bags.

“What immigration reform advocates demanded to be a #NoHateDebate, turned in fact into the usual stunning display of hateful rhetoric to appeal to a narrow class of racist, xenophobic voters. No single candidate presented a realistic and actionable plan to address the 11 million undocumented people in our country in a manner that lives up to America’s values of fairness, family and opportunity. No one dared to stand up for our families.

“Every one of these candidates favors policies that are anti-immigrant family, anti-working family, and anti-black family. Attacks designed to tear apart immigrant families for short-term political gains is unworthy of any person seeking to lead our nation.

“Hundreds of Community, faith, labor, student, and civil rights leaders and immigrant families held an early morning press conference in Los Angeles before they headed out to the Ronald Reagan Library in a caravan of buses, vans, and cars to rally, protest and voice their concerns with the current anti-immigrant, anti-black, and anti-working family’s rhetoric being advanced by GOP contenders.

“If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he would be vilified by this crop of GOP candidates because he believed in immigrant families.  He believed in the value of keeping them together, he believed immigrants contributed to and built opportunity in America for all.  He was the last President to fight for and win immigration reform.

“Immigrants, low-wage workers, union members, faith leaders, and people from all walks of life in communities across America are tired of the way they continue to treat us and are calling on all the GOP presidential candidates to finally stop all hateful attacks on immigrant and working families, those struggling to make ends meet and people of color.

“We are families.  We are voters. We have memories. We are highly engaged in the national debate over immigration reform and are fighting to build an economy that works for all families.   The out of touch rhetoric and policies of this crop of candidates is paving a road to demographic isolation. Every 30 seconds, a young Latino in America reaches voting age, while the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) and immigrant vote in general are also expanding rapidly.  With every election, the pro-immigrant voter’s political muscle grows.  We will not forget then what is being said about us now.”


FIRM Groups Announce Opposition to Trans Pacific Partnership

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
Contact: Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@cccaction.org, W: 202.339.9377
Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@cccaction.org, 202.339.9331

Groups Call on President and Congress to Recognize Harmful Effects of Unbalanced Trade on Societies and Economies around the World

WASHINGTON— Groups in the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) are opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) because past similar deals have caused crippling poverty in many countries.

“The current trade negotiations for TPP would not be an exception to this. In these deals, the U.S. government is de-emphasizing labor and human rights, while lifting up corporate rights through Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, meaning extra-legal tribunals where corporations may pursue claims of lost profits,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos.

“Like NAFTA and other trade agreements, TPP risks offshoring millions of jobs overseas forcing more and more people to lose their livelihood here and in other countries,” added Matos. “If TPP is passed, it could not only undermine work opportunities and protections for workers here and abroad, but it could also dramatically increase the number of economic refugees to this country. Millions could be subjected to poverty and will inevitably be forced to leave to seek opportunity elsewhere, risking their lives coming to the U.S. only to face our broken immigration system.”

“Worse yet, the Administration wants to “fast track” a vote on new trade agreements. Instead, we should fast track an immigration bill. We should fast track a jobs bill, unemployment benefits, climate change legislation, and voting rights. We must fast track solutions for children who have been forced to migrate and arrive at our border,” Matos said.

Among the groups that have signed the statement are CASA, Center for Community Change, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Michigan United, Promise Arizona, One America, Workers’ Defense Project, Alliance for a Just Society, Voces de la Frontera, and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.


FIRM Applauds the Obama Administration and 14 States Fighting Back Against Anti-Immigrant Lawsuit

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 12, 2015
Contact: Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@cccaction.org, 202.339.9377
Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@cccaction.org 202.339.9331

Department of Justice Files Emergency Motion to Move Forward Programs Provided Under Administrative Relief

WASHINGTON—Responding to a Texas judge’s ruling to halt implementation of administrative relief for immigrant families, the Department of Justice today filed an emergency motion to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to continue work on the programs. This motion was supported by an amicus brief filed by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California and the Attorneys General from 14 states and the District of Columbia this afternoon.

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) celebrates the administration and the states’ efforts to stand by President Obama’s executive action and continue to fight for immigrant families.

“We are heartened to see the Administration continuing to fight to keep families together. The district court’s order preventing the implementation of DACA and DAPA is wrong, immoral and a glaring assault on immigrant families that urgently need relief,” added Matos.

“Our organizations will continue to fight for our families. We strongly support the Department of Justice’s efforts to defend the President’s action. We will also not forget the Republicans’ comprehensive efforts, infiltrating even our courts, to push their anti-immigrant agenda,” said Matos.


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