A project of the Center for Community Change

Darrell Issa Must Fire Staff Member, Apologize to Constituents

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 21, 2013
Contact:
For English language Media:
Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org, 202-339-9331, 202-441-3798 (cell)
For Spanish language Media:
Ricardo Ramírez, rramirez@communitychange.org, 202-339-9371, 202-905-1738 (cell)

At Scheduled Meeting, Issa Staff Threatens, Kicks Out Immigrant Families

Washington – In a week where Republicans have called immigrant families ‘takers’ and voted to deport hundreds of thousands of young students and criminalize families, Congressman Darrell Issa has taken it one step further: He had his staff kick out constituents from a scheduled meeting because the group included undocumented persons. In response, please see the following statement from

Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice for the Center for Community Change and a spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM):

“It is unheard of for a member of Congress to have his staff systematically discriminate against an entire block of members of society – this is straight out of the 1950s. Kicking families out of a scheduled meeting because some guests lack documentation is a deeply disrespectful and offensive action, and brings official discrimination against immigrants in Congress too close to reality. It is also a sign of why our system is so broken: Members of Congress like Darrell Issa would rather kick out families from their office rather than looking reality in the eye.

“Our families will not condone this. The staff member needs to be removed from their duty. Our families further demand a personal meeting with Congressman Issa where he can offer a sincere apology and ensure that there will be no more discrimination coming from his office, and that it will be a welcoming environment for constituents.”

Charlene Gomez, from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, a statewide California coalition and a member of FIRM:

“We were granted a meeting as a group and we looked forward to simply expressing why we need comprehensive immigration reform. Never did I expect to meet threatening and discriminatory behavior – especially from a representative of someone leading the discussion on immigration. I hope Rep. Issa comes to see what our families go through every day and recognize our contributions to society even when hamstrung by a broken immigration system.”

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