Immigrant Rights Groups Announce Election Day Rallies Celebrating Power of the Immigrant, Latino Vote
Two Events to be Held at Obama and Romney Election Night Venues DC, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Baltimore Sites of Other Events
(WASHINGTON)—A coalition of the largest and most powerful grassroots immigrant rights groups in the country has registered and will turn out an unprecedented number of immigrant and Latino voters for the 2012 elections. The groups, all members of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), will hold Election Day rallies nationwide, including in front of President Obama and Mitt Romney’s election night venues in Chicago and Boston.
Sites of other election night rallies will be in front of the White House, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Baltimore and Langley Park, MD. Over a dozen additional events will be held across the country within 72 hours of the election.
“We are coming together to announce rallies across the country to celebrate the voter engagement work we have done in this cycle which we believe will make a critical difference at the national, state and local level,” said Rudy Lopez, National Political Director for the Campaign for Community Change. “Our work and the motivation of many of our voters can be boiled down to one message: keeping families together.”
Angelica Salas, Chair of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles Action Fund, said over 1 million deportations, the majority of whom were people with no criminal record, in the last four years have shattered hundreds of thousands of families.
“Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters have been cruelly and permanently separated from their families by the failure to pass immigration reform,” Salas said. “This election is a marker for our escalating power, our surging unity and our renewed commitment. We will not cease until we achieve immigration reform that keeps our families together.”
Lawrence Benito, Executive Director of the Illinois Immigration Action, said if President Obama is re-elected, the message will be clear that he will have returned to the White House on the strength of the immigrant and Latino vote.
“Latinos and immigrants will vote in unprecedented numbers because their families are at stake,” Benito said. “The villains in this story are all those who seek to divide us: politicians who dehumanize immigrant families to score political points; hate-mongers panicked by demographic shifts; and corporations who profit from the detention of our family members.”
Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Coalition for New American Voters, said GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s attacks on immigrant rights are seen as an assault on families because the perception his campaign is giving is one of ripping their families and community apart.
“If Romney were to win our message to would be to hold him accountable for a practical solution,” Millona said. “And we’ll be making sure he hears directly from DREAM eligible youth about his promise to veto the DREAM Act and his promise to discontinue the deferment process.”
Gustavo Andrade, Director of Voter Engagement for CASA In Action, said immigrant and Latino voters are working hard to pass the DREAM Act in Maryland.
“Our work in Maryland has been rewarded with 59 percent of all residents saying they support the DREAM Act and we will harness our power and energy on Election Day,” Andrade said.
Julien Ross, Executive Director, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Action Fund, said his organization has registered tens of thousands of immigrant and Latino voters and that in 2010, this bloc kept the U.S. Senate under the Democrats’ control.
“We flexed our political muscle then and will do so again this year to make sure that pro-immigrant interests are respected,” Ross said.
Pamela Gomez, a first-time voter from Tampa, Fla., said she is excited to add her voice to the electoral process.
“I became a naturalized citizen last year and when I think about voting, I think about everything our movement has gone through to advocate on behalf of our families and our communities,” Gomez said. “We are sending a clear message when we vote that we will stand up for our families, our friends, our communities.”
FIRM is a network of community-based immigrant advocacy organizations in 30 states.