A project of the Center for Community Change

Immigration Rights Groups: Congratulations, Mr. President, Now It’s Time for Reform

For Immediate Release: Monday, January 21, 2013

Contact: Beth Kanter, 773-551-7044 (cell)
Donna De La Cruz, 202-441-3798 (cell)

 

Immigration Rights Groups: Congratulations, Mr. President, Now It’s Time for Reform

Immigrant families call on President Obama to make campaign promise of comprehensive reform a top priority in second term

Statement to be attributed to Kica Matos, Fair Immigration Reform Movement

President Obama said one of the biggest regrets from his first term was that he didn’t pass immigration reform. We won’t let him have that same regret in his second term.

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and the millions of Latino and immigrant families we represent  is committed to working with the president and Congress to pass comprehensive legislation that will provide a path to citizenship the 11 million aspiring Americans living in the United States.

Families across the country are torn apart by our current patchwork of failed and mismanaged immigration policies, and it’s time to get serious about a solution.

The president won reelection not on a tide of hope and change, but because voters – especially Latino and immigrant voters – came out and voiced their support for the president’s promise to push forward on comprehensive immigration reform.

Voters like Nanci Judith Palacios Godinez of Florida. Nanci was brought to the U.S. when she was six. Her parents worked as migrant workers to provide for Nanci and her sisters. She lives in fear that her parents will be detained because they are undocumented.  She is fighting for a legal path to citizenship, not only for her parents, but for all 11 million people who also deserve to live without fear.

The president’s dream for immigration reform is tied to Nanci’s dream and the millions of families just like hers who want unity and stability. Moving forward on immigration reform will ensure that the legacy of the Obama presidency is one of compassion, fairness and keeping American families together.

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The Keeping Families Together campaign, www.keepingfamiliestogether.net, was launched by the largest immigrant rights organizations in the country to lift the voices of the families impacted by our broken immigration system and call for a path to citizenship for our nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. 

Family members are available to talk about President Obama’s inauguration and their hopes for comprehensive immigration reform. Please contact Beth Kanter at 773-551-7044 or Donna De La Cruz at 202-339-9331 to schedule an interview.

Here are some of stories:

Jennifer is a young mother of four from Wisconsin. Her husband of 16 years came to the U.S.  from Mexico as a child. About a year ago, Jennifer got a call telling her that her husband was in custody and would be deported in three hours. Her six year old threw rocks at the bus as he was deported – without a hearing and having never committed a crime.

Jose, a 17-year-old boy, has been in foster care for two years since his parents were deported. He and his brother have no idea when they will see their parents again.

Luis came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was nine. He recently graduated from law school at the University of California Los Angeles, , but he may be forced to leave the country. A year ago, his parents were duped into applying for green cards they weren’t eligible for and in­cluded Luis in the application. He can’t wait for the DREAM Act; he’s prepared to leave the U.S. to process his green card application, leaving behind his wife (who is a citizen), her ailing mother and three young nieces and nephews who depend on him and his wife after their parents died.

Xochitl Alejandra Rojas came to the U.S. at age three from Mexico and has lived in the country for 20 years. Her family came to America for a better life and because her father was facing backlash for his work in the labor movement. She had to take the last year off from school to work and save money, but applying for Deferred Action gives her the confidence that her investment in an education will pay off, and provide her with the opportunity to finish school and pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. She is planning to re-enroll at South Seattle Community College this fall and continue her nursing studies.

 

To read more stories of families that have been torn apart by our broken immigration system visit www.keepingfamiliestogether.net.

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