For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013
English-language media: Donna De La Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 339-9331
Spanish-language media: Ricardo Ramirez, email@example.com (202) 905-1738
Jose Antonio Vargas Gives Voice to Families in Immigration Reform Testimony
Senate Must Take Action Now on a Bill With a Path to Citizenship
(WASHINGTON)—Jose Antonio Vargas today provided a powerful voice to undocumented immigrant families in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. And Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she has never seen a better opportunity to pass a comprehensive immigration bill until now.
The Senate must seize this opportunity and take action on a bill with a path to citizenship. And they must remember Vargas’s testimony and the words of other undocumented immigrants, said Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), a coalition of immigrant rights groups in 30 states.
Vargas asked the Senate Judiciary Committee members “What do you want to do with us?” before recounting how he was brought to America from the Philippines by his grandfather an American citizen. Vargas is the only member of his extended family who is undocumented.
“The Senate must not let political infighting and one-upmanship derail bipartisan legislation that is humane and compassionate and will allow the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country work to become full-fledged Americans,” said Matos, also the Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice for the Center for Community Change. The Center is a FIRM member.
“The House must also remember families as they craft legislation that must include a path to citizenship,” Matos added. “We will not support any legislation that does not provide undocumented immigrants a way to become full-fledged Americans.”