For Immediate Release: April 22, 2014Contact: Ricardo A. Ramírez, 202-339-9371,

Nation’s Largest Immigrant-Rights Organization Announces Deadline and Next Phase of Action *President Obama Must Act Now to Stop Needless Deportations* *Republicans in Congress Will Have Until June 28 to Pass Meaningful Reform*

Conference Call Audio:

WASHINGTON – The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), the nation’s largest immigrant-rights coalition, announced on a call today our newest phase of escalation: the STOP SEPARATING FAMILIES campaign. Our movement is issuing a deadline on House Republicans to act on immigration reform by June 28. At the same time, we are demanding that President Obama act immediately to stop needless deportations.

The family-separation crisis is a very real and terrifying burden to a generation of parents and children who either live in crippling fear or continue to be tragically torn from one another. On one hand, President Obama’s policies lead to scores of needless deportations and family separations. On the other hand, Republicans seem happy to abdicate their responsibility and take up the family separation mantle as a party platform. Together, they’ve manufactured a painful moral crisis in our communities.

During the STOP SEPARATING FAMILIES phase of action, our movement will escalate our tone and our activity, channeling the energy behind our families’ plea to Congress and the Administration to stop the family-separation crisis.

While more details will become available, the participants announced the following premises for the STOP SEPARATING FAMILIES phase:

  • Upcoming significant event in the Washington, D.C. area, featuring a civil disobedience, and showing the increasing energy, pain, and frustration that our families feel
  • On May 1st, we will join our partners in the labor movement to hold events taking place across the country, calling for immigrant and worker rights
  • Our coalition will team up with others for key civic engagement days, registering and empowering Latino and immigrant communities
  • We will continue our effort to build and expand our movement, building capacity among regional and local leaders who will carry this movement to victory
  • Throughout this period – late April through late June – there will be continued, bold, and escalating actions and mobilizations
  • We will culminate with large mobilizations across the country on our June 28 deadline

After our deadline, we will roll out a scorecard on who are the most notorious Family Dividers in Congress, and who have been the Family Uniters. Our organizations will also be closer to moving fully into our electoral organizing phase.

Following the call, participants released the statements below:

Kica Matos, Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)

“We are calling on both Congress and the White House to act to put an immediate end to the family separation crisis that is roiling Latino and immigrant communities across the country. By refusing to do their job and leaving a broken immigration system in place, Republicans have manufactured a moral emergency that has parents torn from their children by the hundreds every day. Our families will simply not tolerate this any longer – either from Congress or the Administration – and our next steps will show our tenacity, courage and resolve."

Petra Falcon, Promise Arizona

“We are stepping up the volume and intensity of our mobilizations. There will be more intrepid civil disobedience actions. There will be more vigor behind our demands – if the administration and Congress will sit back while our families are separated, then we will put the heat on them. We are issuing a deadline, and the clock is ticking. House Republicans will have until June 28 to pass meaningful comprehensive immigration reform that provides a real end to the family-separation crisis. To President Obama, we say this: Time is up. It is your policies that are separating our families at record numbers – the needless deportations must stop. We will continue to escalate and press until we have obtained meaningful administrative relief that stops the widespread family separation.”

Steven Choi, the New York Immigrant Coalition

“From New York to California, FIRM groups are gearing up for the next phase of escalation : STOP SEPARATING FAMILIES. We’ve mobilized millions across the nation, we’ve shown our power at the polls, and still leaders in Washington have refused to listen to our voices who have said loud and clear that we need immigration reform now. Our families will be at the forefront of this escalation to bring the immigrant rights fight to the center stage.”

Leticia Zavala, mother and Colorado native

“My family is living proof of how deeply unfair and immoral the current system is. The pain and anguish that my children feel in school and at night is the result of a manufactured crisis – inaction from the President, and family-separation policies from Republicans in Congress. It hurts and it hits home for me, like it does for hundreds of thousands of families across the country. We are more driven than ever, and will not relent until Congress and the administration stop separating families.”


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