A project of the Center for Community Change

Elected Officials Invite FIRM Families to Be Present at State of the Union

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Contact: Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@communitychange.org, 202.339.9377
Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org 202.339.9331

Senators and Representatives Highlight the Families Affected by Broken Immigration System and the Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

(WASHINGTON)—Weeks after the President’s announcement of administrative relief for five million immigrants, the effects of his immigration action continue to be highlighted by immigrants’ rights advocates. This week, elected officials from various states acknowledged the contributions of the families affected by our broken immigration system.

Various members of Congress invited immigrant families to be present for the President’s State of the Union address tonight. Some of these families included members of Fair Immigration Reform Movement’s (FIRM) organizations.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada invited Blanca Gamez, a member of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN). Gamez, a long-time leader with PLAN, comes from a mixed-status family. She worked for Hermandad Mexicana and Mi Familia Vota, and founded “DREAM Big Vegas” to advocate for the passage of the DREAM Act and educate students and parents around navigating the education system in Nevada while undocumented.

Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) invited OneAmerica member Juan Macedo de Alba from Mount Vernon, Washington. Juan is a 17-year-old DREAMer  who has faced deportation.

From California, Representative Tony Cárdenas invited Olga Cordero, member of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). Cordero, an undocumented immigrant originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, has lived in the San Fernando Valley from more than two decades. Once the owner of a small jewelry repair business, Cordero knows hard work and dedicated herself to put her children through school. Tuesday, she will be in the gallery of the United States House of Representatives.

As the President stated in tonight’s address, “surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is taken from her child.” Affirming his commitment to comprehensive immigration, President Obama emphasized that legislation that establishes comprehensive immigration reform is possible.

Kica Matos, spokesperson for FIRM, stated, “Our work in the immigrants’ rights movement will continue. We stand ready to work with President Obama and Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, the permanent solution to the broken immigration system. We will not stop working until all undocumented immigrants have a pathway to citizenship and live in this country free from the fear of deportation.

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