CNN #NoHateDebate Was in Fact a Hate Debate

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015 Contact: Carlos Vogel, 202-239-2133,

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.”