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Fair Immigration Reform Movement Groups Release Electoral Plans for November

For Immediate Release: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014
Contact: Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@cccaction.org (202) 339-9331

Legislative Targets Divided Into Two Categories: Family Uniters and Family Dividers 

(WASHINGTON)—Immigrant rights groups who are members of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) today released their electoral plans for November, dividing legislative targets into two categories: family uniters and family dividers.

Family uniters support efforts to allow immigrant families to remain together in the United States while they seek to become full-fledged citizens,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos. “Family dividers are those who have embraced policies of deportations, family separations and other cruel and inhumane legislation.”

“Politicians should remember just how powerful the Latino and immigrant vote is in this country,” Matos said. “Look at the Senate race in Colorado, a state where Latinos comprise an estimated 14 percent of the electorate. A report issued in June by Latino Decisions shows that 63 percent of Colorado Latino voters know an undocumented immigrant. And 35 percent said they know people who have been deported or detained.”

“Immigration reform is an extremely important decision in Colorado and in other states with a high percentage of Latino voters,” Matos added. “These groups will be out in full force from now until the November elections making sure Latino and immigrant voters know who is on their side and who is vehemently opposed to immigration reform.”

Groups releasing their plans today are based in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and New York.

Here are the groups’ plans:

ARIZONA: Promise Arizona in Action
Media contact:  Petra Falcon, petra@promiseaz.org (520) 360-6128

Promise Arizona in Action will concentrate its efforts on Republican Rep. Matt Salmon as a “family divider.” The key action will be targeting 10,000 low-propensity Latino and Asian voters with phone banks and canvassing.

“It is not fair that we are suffering because people like my mother do not have legal status, she has a dream to work to protect and take care of our family,” said Brian Sanchez, a 13-year-old U.S. citizen with an undocumented mother. “We share the same dreams as any family I know– I want to ask Rep. Matt Salmon what he would do if he were in my mother’s shoes.  I want to ask him to fight with us to keep our family and other families together.”

CALIFORNIA: CHIRLA Action Fund
Media Contact: Diana Colin, diana@chirlafund.org (562) 332-3249

CHIRLA Action Fund will focus on Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy as a “family divider.” Key actions will include compiling stories from immigrants who have benefited from DACA and other key immigration reform measures; a constant presence at town halls and other events featuring McCarthy and movement building training in Bakersfield, McCarthy’s hometown.

“The community in the Central Valley consist of hard-working immigrant families, most of these with no legal status,” said CHIRLA Action Fund leader Daniel Penaloza. “It is not acceptable for our Representative in Congress to ignore the issue of immigration reform when it directly affects the people in his own backyard.”

COLORADO: CIRC Action Fund
Media contact: Patty Kupfer, pkupfer@americasvoice.org (720) 441-4912

The CIRC Action Fund, along with Colorado Progressive Action and Mi Familia Vota, will be concentrating its efforts on Republican Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman, who are identified as “family dividers.” The actions will include mailings, door to door campaigning and phone banks. There will be GOTV efforts in Adams, Jefferson, El Paso, Weld and Pueblo Counties.

“Over one year has passed since the U.S. Senate approved bipartisan immigration reform in June 2013 that would help keep Colorado families together. And for over a year, Congressmen Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman failed to take any meaningful action to ensure similar bipartisan legislation passed in the U.S. House,” said Nita Gonzales, President of CIRC Action Fund. “Instead, the Republican Congressmen voted to deport DREAMers and separate families. Through the Colorado Immigration Voter Accountability Project, we will ensure that this November, Colorado voters remember who acted as family uniters and who acted as family dividers.”

FLORIDA: Florida New Majority
Media Contact: Moné Holder, mone@flnewmajority.org (305) 321-4573

The Florida New Majority will be concentrating its efforts on Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia, praising his efforts as a “family uniter.” The actions will include mailings, door to door campaigning, phone banking with the Latino voter base in Miami-Dade County.

“The power of the immigrant vote is unquestionable thanks to organizations like ours on the ground that have educated and mobilized the community to take that power in their hands and use it,” says Maria Rodriguez, co-founder of Florida New Majority. “Throughout the years we learned that our political muscle can protect our families from abuse and criminalization. We are building that muscle day by day, door by door, until we win the champion representation we seek.”

MICHIGAN: Michigan People’s Campaign
Media Contact: Ryan Bates, ryan@michiganpeoplescampaign.org

“Michigan People’s Campaign will be running a voter engagement campaign throughout the state of Michigan to highlight Family Uniters, like US Senate candidate Gary Peters, and family dividers, like House member Fred Upton,” said Michigan People’s Campaign Director Ryan Bates. “It’s time for elected leaders in Michigan to understand the growing power of the pro-immigrant community at the polls.  We’re going to hold those who’ve voted to divide immigrant families and deport immigrant students and refugees accountable.”

NEW YORK: Make the Road Action Fund and New York State Immigrant Action Fund
NYSIAF contact: Bessie Schachter, Bessie.schachter@nysiaf.org (212) 647-9009
Make the Road Action Fund contact: Daniel Altschuler, daniel.altschuler@maketheroadactionfund.org 917-494-5922 (English/Spanish)

Make the Road Action Fund and the New York State Immigrant Action Fund will be concentrating their efforts on the following candidates:

**Republican Rep. Michael Grimm, identified as a “family divider”
**Democratic Rep. Timothy Bishop, identified as a “family uniter”

Key activities for NYSIAF: voter registration and canvassing, letter to the editor campaign, field actions.
Key activities for MRAF: get out the vote canvass in targeted districts, coordinated day of action with FIRM partners, candidate forums.

“Immigrant Action is proud to stand with FIRM and the national effort to bring family uniters back to Congress and identify members, like Michael Grimm of New York, who stand in the way of immigration reform,” said Bessie Schachter, Program Director at Immigrant Action. “Our elected officials must serve all families, including the immigrant families presently living and working under the constant threat of deportation.”

“Congressional candidates’ positions on immigration reform will be critical for Latino voters in New York when they go to the polls in November,” said Carlos Reyes, a member of Make the Road Action Fund. “In Congress, there are family defenders and family dividers. The family defenders have come out in support of immigration reform, while the family dividers have not, and we have been watching. Among them, Rep. Tim Bishop has strongly supported and identified with the values ​​of immigrants and as an advocate for our families. Meanwhile, Rep. Michael Grimm has not supported us—supporting someone who does not support the values ​​of our community would be catastrophic. ”

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Winning Recess: Amid Increasing Activity and Energy Across Country, Immigrant-Rights Movement Announces National Day to Fight for Families

For Immediate Release: August 19, 2014

With August on Track for More than 30 Events Demanding Justice for Immigrant Families, Groups will Cap Off Recess Win With a National Day of Action, August 28

WASHINGTON – Today, Tuesday, August 19, the nation’s largest immigrant-rights coalition, the Fair Immigration Movement (FIRM), announced the National Day to Fight for Families (#FightForFamilies), which will cap off a congressional recess where immigrant families, along with the broader population, dwarf anti-immigrant turnout and demand an end to the family-separation crisis.

The National Day to Fight for Families will include events across the country – 15 and counting so far – that will put our coalition at more than 30 high-visibility events for the month of August. This activity pressing for administrative relief comes amid broader fights our groups are waging at the local level: Drivers’ licenses, electoral campaigns, and having a presence in Congressional town halls.

Our groups ramped up recess mobilization following the unprecedented, immoral scapegoating of immigrants in Congress – even though a Fox News poll says an overwhelming majority of Americans want Congress to do “something – anything!” on immigration reform. Our families will remain steadfast in our call on President Obama to take action, and for Democratic leaders to support us.

Following today’s telephonic press conference announcing the day of action, the participants released the following statements:

Kica Matos, Center for Community Change:
“Following unprecedented lows in Congress, our families are resolute and moving forward. We are winning the recess, and making it clear to the President that our families will not stop until there is justice in our communities. We can’t live up to our values when we allow families to be separated and turn our backs on children fleeing violence. Washington’s response is a moral outrage. Democrats lack the courage to stand up against injustice.  Republicans are stooping to historic, appalling lows vilifying kids. And they leave President Obama no choice but to take action. Our families are under the urgent threat of separation. Throughout August and on the National Day to Fight for Families, we join the rest of the country with one common demand: President Obama must act for families.

Gustavo Andrade, CASA de Maryland:
“When people ask us why we keep going, the answer is easy: Our base feels all the urgency in the world and has no patience left. We simply don’t want our families torn apart anymore. While we condemn the failure of Congress to stand with Latinos and immigrants, President Obama owns the policies that tear our families apart. On August 28, we will once again show our energy, outrage, and the need to act to stop family separation.”

Christina Chang, New York Immigration Coalition:
“We can no longer live with a status quo that tears families apart and takes parents away from their children. Now, we turn to President Obama to act big and to act bold to provide administrative relief from deportation. Here in New York, the New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform campaign are holding a  Town Hall on August 26th in the run-up to the National Day to Fight for Families to show our community’s our power and our continued persistence for change.”

Monica Sibri, a student at the College of Staten Island and volunteer with the NYIC:
“I came to this country a few months after I turned 16 years old to join my family and to get a better education. I did not qualify for deferred action because I did not meet the age requirement and so I continue to live in fear of deportation for myself and for my family. I am calling on President Obama to provide administrative relief for millions like me who just want to make a difference in this country. An enforcement-heavy approach to immigration is not a solution to the millions of undocumented people who work every day to make this country great.”

Social Media Accounts to follow for August 28 pictures and updates:
Fair Immigration Reform Movement on Facebook (link) and Twitter (@re4mimmigration)
Reform Immigration for America on Facebook (link) and Twitter (@RI4A)

Hashtag: #FightForFamilies

Find a Growing List of Events here: www.StopSeparatingFamilies.org

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Gutierrez, Blumenthal, to Join Massive Community Calls to Discuss Next Steps on Fight to End Immigrant Family Separation

For Immediate Release: August 8, 2014

*Media Advisory: Community Call on Monday, August 11, at 8pm EDT and 9pm EDT*

Groups Will Hold Two Calls – One in English with Sen. Blumenthal and One in Spanish with Rep. Gutiérrez – to Discuss Next Steps and Mobilizations Supporting Expected Measures from President Obama

English-language call, Monday 8pm EDT: Dial 855-756-7520, Ext. 25930
Spanish-language call, Monday 9pm EDT: Dial 855-756-7520, Ext. 25932

WASHINGTON – On Monday, August 11, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will join a community call, the National Call to Action to Fight for Our Families (8pm ED in English and 9pm EDT in Spanish) where advocates and immigrant families will discuss next steps in the immigrant-rights movement.

The call is being put together by Reform Immigration for America, the Center for New Community, the Fair Immigration Movement, and Alliance for Citizenship. The English-language version will begin at 8pm EDT with Sen. Richard Blumenthal and several advocates, and will include a question-and-answer session. The Spanish-language version will begin at 9pm EDT with Rep. Gutiérrez and several advocates, and will also include a question-and-answer session.

Last week, Congressional Republicans made clear their contempt for immigrants by opting to destroy families and send children back to unconscionable, often life threatening conditions for the sake of politics. As a response, communities across the country are stepping up their response and involvement during the August recess, a crucial time to show support for the expected measures by President Obama to rein in the family separation crisis. (More information at www.StopSeparatingFamilies.org.) During the community call, immigrant families and supporters involved in the fight for immigrant justice will hear from Rep. Gutiérez, Sen. Blumenthal, as well as advocates who will help channel the movement’s energy into action.

WHAT:          National Call to Action to Fight for Our Families

WHO:             Rep. Gutiérrez, Sen. Blumenthal, and immigrant-rights advocates will speak. Immigrant families and supporters will listen and ask questions.

WHEN:          Monday, August 11, at 8pm EDT in English and 9pm EDT in Spanish.

RSVP:             The call is open to everyone. Participants can send a text message with the word “listen” to 69866 in order to receive an automated call on Monday evening patching them through to the community call. For the Spanish-language call, users should text the word “escucha” instead.

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