A project of the Center for Community Change

FIRM Statement on Pope Francis Address to Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 24, 2015
CONTACT: Carlos Vogel, (202) 239-2133, cvogel@communitychange.org

(WASHINGTON)–The following statement is from Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) in response to the Pope’s speech to the joint session of Congress today.

“Today, leaders of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) praised Pope Francis for urging Congress to embrace the country’s history of welcoming everyone to the U.S. and providing safe haven for immigrants. His message of approaching and treating all immigrants and refugees with humanity, respect, compassion, empathy, dignity, and love echoed the hopes of our FIRM leaders participating in 24-hours of prayer, reflection and action advocating for immigration reform across the country.

“The Pope’s speech to Congress comes at a critical time when millions of Syrian refugees are seeking protection and a growing number of families and children are fleeing gang violence, rape, and domestic violence in Central America. A change of attitude toward migrants and refugees is desperately needed on the part of everyone. We need to move away from the divisive rhetoric by politicians who are using hateful speech when they talk about immigrants. We must reject the politics of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization.

“We stand with the Pope in...

Immigration Reform Advocates, Faith Community to Hold 24-Hour Prayer, Reflection and Action on Immigration During Pope Francis’ Address to the U.S. Congress

For Planning Purposes: Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Contact: Carlos Vogel, 202-239-2133, cvogel@communitychange.org


FIRM Organizations Call on Members of Congress to Commit to Immigration Reform

Washington, D.C. – Fair Immigration reform Movement (FIRM) organizations, along with the faith community will engage in 24-hours of prayer, reflection and action on immigration to welcome Pope Francis to the United States from noon EST on September the 23rd to noon EST September 24th. The events are part of a series of nationwide solidarity actions to lift up the stories of immigrant families, throughout our nation, who are being shamed, disrespected and denied a basic humanity, and to demand an end to senseless anti-immigrant rhetoric against America’s immigrant community, deportations and inhumane separation of families.

The Pope’s visit comes at a critical time when some Presidential candidates have engaged in hateful and anti-immigrant rhetoric against America’ s immigrant community — rhetoric that runs contrary to the Pope’s message of compassion for immigrant families and refugees in our communities.

“Our faith calls us to stand with the Pope in the call for ‘charity and cooperation in such a way to make the conditions of migrants more humane.’ This includes an end to unjust deportations and detention and a recognition of...

CNN #NoHateDebate Was in Fact a Hate Debate

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015

Contact: Carlos Vogel, 202-239-2133, cvogel@cccaction.org

The following statement is from Sulma Arias, Spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) in response to the second GOP presidential debate hosted by CNN:

“Tonight, GOP candidates once again treated immigrant families, blacks and working families as their punching bags.

“What immigration reform advocates demanded to be a #NoHateDebate, turned in fact into the usual stunning display of hateful rhetoric to appeal to a narrow class of racist, xenophobic voters. No single candidate presented a realistic and actionable plan to address the 11 million undocumented people in our country in a manner that lives up to America’s values of fairness, family and opportunity. No one dared to stand up for our families.

“Every one of these candidates favors policies that are anti-immigrant family, anti-working family, and anti-black family. Attacks designed to tear apart immigrant families for short-term political gains is unworthy of any person seeking to lead our nation.

“Hundreds of Community, faith, labor, student, and civil rights leaders and immigrant families held an early morning press conference in Los Angeles before they headed out to the Ronald Reagan Library in a caravan of buses, vans, and cars to rally, protest and...

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