New Mexico Groups Unveil Pro-Reform Ads

Here is an article on the leadership of Somos Un Pueblo Unido of New Mexico, and other local leaders taking reform into their own hands! Let us know if you're doing an ad campaign in your own area! Group to unveil pro-reform ads 

By Barbara Ferry | The New Mexican May 15, 2007 Advocates for undocumented immigrants are launching an ad campaign calling on U.S. Sens. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., to play a strong leadership role in supporting comprehensive immigration reform.

The Washington D.C.-based Campaign for Community Change will pay for ads in newspapers and radio spots, according to Marcela Diaz, director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido. The advocacy organization, along with religious and labor groups, will announce the ad campaign from the steps of Domenici's office in Albuquerque today.

The Senate is expected to take up immigration reform Wednesday. Diaz said the ads, and a similar one in seven other states, are aimed at lawmakers considered essential in shepherding legislation through a contentious debate.

``We want them to take a strong stand on immigration reform this week,'' Diaz said.

Advocates are worried about what will come out of ongoing closed negotiating sessions between a bipartisan group of lawmakers and White House officials. One issue under debate is whether immigrant workers will be allowed to apply for permanent residency in the United States. Also reportedly under consideration is the future of family-based visas.

Rich Stolz, campaign director for the group paying for the ads, said the White House-led negotiations have shifted the debate in a direction that worries advocates.

``There was a structure for compromise and these negotiations have blown up that structure,'' Stolz said. ``It's time to get (the debate) out into the public.''

Groups favoring a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States will also deliver postcards to the two Senate offices on Wednesday, according to a news release.

Domenici spokesman Chris Gallegos said the Republican senator has been one of the lawmakers trying to hammer out a bipartisan agreement on immigration ahead of Wednesday's deadline.

But Gallegos said Monday that the group is still divided on a number of important issues.

Domenici sees immigration as ``one of the most pressing issues facing the country right now,'' Gallegos said.