President's immigration policy abandons family values

Press Release from CHIRLA:


For Immediate Release             Contact: Alvaro Huerta, 213.353.1789,March 30, 2007                                   213.210.6735 cell, 

Partisan plan would turn American Dream on its head, keep families apart 

Los Angeles – The Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Angelica Salas, issued this response to the White House’s principles for immigration reform: 

“The White House has chosen a path of partisanship and mean-spirited politics over getting things done to fix our broken immigration system.And once again, as it has done through various raids across the country, the Bush Administration has targeted immigrant families. 

“The President’s immigration proposal would abolish the nation’s long-standing tradition of reuniting families through our immigration system.  It would get rid of certain family-based visas, keeping families apart for even longer than they are already kept apart.  No efforts will be made to reduce backlogs or integrate immigrants into society. 

“In addition, the Administration proposes exorbitant and unrealistic fines and fees – over $17,000 – that will not bring the undocumented out of the shadows, but which instead privilege the wealthy and well-educated.  This ignores the realities of our economy and will do nothing to prevent future increases in the undocumented population. 

“Under the President’s plan the immigration system would create a second-class group of indentured servants with no promise of ever attaining citizenship.  The plan also conveniently avoids any discussion about protecting the labor rights of both immigrant and native workers. 

“With these principles, the President is effectively saying to immigrant workers that America will take their sweat and tears, but not the love and support of their families. 

“The underlying motivation for this plan is profit –to create a class of exploitable, unprotected workers with no familial ties in the country and no genuine path to citizenship. 

“The White House’s immigration proposal denies immigrants the respect that they deserve.  What ever happened to recognizing hard work and promoting family values?  Immigrants are not expendable, nameless automatons, but mothers, fathers, grandparents, sons and daughters – in other words, family members.  Shame on the Administration for devaluing immigrants’many contributions to this country; for devaluing our parents, our grandparents, our children, our ancestors – all of those who have contributed to this country in the past, who give so much right now, and who will continue to do so in the future. 

“Is this the legacy that President Bush wants to leave our nation – a nation where profit is more important than families?  If so, America will not stand for it.” 

This message is attributable to Angelica Salas, Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.  For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact Alvaro Huerta at 213.353.1789 or 


The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) was formed in 1986 to advance the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles, promote harmonious multi-ethnic and multi-racial human relations and through coalition-building, advocacy, community education and organizing, empower immigrants and their allies to build a more just society.