Immigrant Rights Leaders Rally and Deliver Petitions Demanding End to Lawsuit Opposing Administrative Relief

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 12, 2015Contacts: In New Orleans: Jeff Parcher,, 703.314.6778 (only on June 12) – Center for Community Change Fernando Lopez,, 504.258.1000 – New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice Carolina Hernandez, 504.858.5995 – Puentes New Orleans Minh Nguyen,, 504.931.5878 – Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (VAYLA-NO) Westin Campo,, 817.937.8882 – The Alliance Institute 

In Washington DC: Bernardita M. Yunis Varas,, 202.339.9377 Donna De La Cruz,, 202.339.9331 NEW ORLEANS—Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) representatives joined local leaders demanding that the Attorneys General and Governors from the 26 states, including Louisiana, drop the lawsuit blocking President Obama’s executive actions.

Leaders from FIRM, Puentes, Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (VAYLA-NO), The Alliance Institute, the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice, Entercom New Orleans, and other key local leaders including faith leaders, elected officials, and leaders of other organizations, along with families, and other advocates delivered the nationwide petition to Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office here on Friday. Demonstrators rallied in front of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and then marched to Caldwell’s office holding signs with images of the Attorneys General and Governors of the suing states, and carrying a banner that read: “Attorney General Buddy Caldwell: 45,364 people are calling on you to DROP the LAWSUIT! #RestoreRelief.”

This action is a preview to upcoming larger movement-wide actions being planned for July 10 when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments on the case.

“We will continue to expose the lawsuit for what it is -- the work of anti-immigrant extremists who despise immigrant families. There will be a price to be paid for this hatred, and our communities will continue to fight until we win in the courts,” said FIRM Spokesperson Kica Matos. “We know the law is on our side. Shame on these public officials for using taxpayer dollars to spread their hate."

“We see the pain, persistence, and resilience of our families,” said Executive Director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) Maria Rodriguez. “We see you Bondi, Slatery, Caldwell and the rest of the Republican blockers. You are hypocrites. You want our labor, our immigrant purchasing dollars and votes, our immigrant taxes, but deny our dignity. You can't use people’s talents and labor, agricultures, construction, and tourism, and not recognize their dignity.”

“As long as this injunction stands, my parents and partner stay waiting for their temporary work permit and relief from deportation,” said Maria Agustin, from VAYLA. “While I no longer face the threat of deportation because of DACA, my family still lives in fear of that knock on the door that could take my parents or my partner away to a detention facility, to eventually be deported, and separated from our family.”

“Not only does this injunction block immigrant contributions to the U.S. economy, but it undermines my family’s hard work,” said Agustin. “My family deserves to work and live without fear in this country that we’ve called home for over 20 years. We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect that this decision and this lawsuit do not show. I will not stop speaking out and advocating for my family and others like mine until our voices are heard.”