A project of the Center for Community Change

Press Releases

Texas Immigrant Families and Allies Call on Judge Hanen to Put Families First in his Ruling

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 19, 2015
Contact: Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@cccaction.org, W: 202.339.9377, C: 305.968.7542
Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@cccaction.org, 202.339.9331

Brownsville, TX—Immigrant families from Texas, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and other advocates gathered outside the federal courthouse in Brownsville today to call on Judge Andrew Hanen to take the politics out of his ruling on the President’s executive orders  on immigration and put families first. Activists from Workers’ Defense Project (WDP), Mi Familia Vota (MFV), SEIU Texas, La Unión Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), Equal Voice, Arise, and others came together to call attention to Hanen’s anti-immigrant stances during a scheduled hearing in the immigration lawsuit against the federal government. Hanen’s decision, masked as a check on President Obama’s alleged overreach is blocking Expanded DACA and DAPA, hurting millions of hardworking, tax paying families in Brownsville and around the country.

“This lawsuit is just another front for the Republican Party’s widening and ferocious war against immigrants and their families. By engaging in judicial activism, Judge Hanen is feeding fuel into that political battle, ignoring the more than 5 million people whose futures are at stake,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos. “In doing so, he is also allowing extremists’ toxic anti-immigrant agenda to infect his courtroom, damaging the integrity of our judicial system, and harming our communities.”

Nearly 100 immigrant families chanted and cheered, and a delegation delivered a letter to the court asking for Judge Hanen’s compassion in his ruling. Many affected by the President’s executive actions spoke during the protest outside of the hearing.

Marta Sanchez, a local resident with LUPE, led the rally and testimonies of families from the area. Sanchez is one of many mothers who have been fasting for 30 days calling for Judge Hanen to consider these families in his ruling:

“We are here today to give a different testimony from the one being giving inside this courtroom. We want our families to have protection while we wait for just comprehensive immigration reform. Inside that courtroom they are testifying against DACA y DAPA. Here we are giving testimony to how these programs are good and will benefit our families and our communities.

Cindi Jimenez, a DACA recipient with Workers’ Defense Project, spoke highlighting the effects of Judge Hanen’s decisions on families:

“DACA and DAPA are important because our families deserve this. We need to keep fighting. We have to show our Congress people that we are not afraid. We are here because this is important for our families and our communities.”

Maria Cordero, another activist and local resident of Brownsville and member of Equal Voice also spoke:

“We are here today to show that Judge Hanen’s position is not the position of the valley here in South Texas. Our families and the community here in Brownsville would benefit so much from these programs.”


Sen. Vitter’s Anti-Immigrant Amendment Attacks Constitutional Rights

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Contact: Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@cccaction.org, 202.339.9377

Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@cccaction.org 202.339.9331

GOP Continues to Push Xenophobic Legislation, Drives Wedge with Immigrant Communities

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) from the GOP’s far right faction, is trying to rewrite the Constitution by pushing an amendment to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 that takes away birthright citizenship granted by the 14th amendment.

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) condemns this proposal as yet another attack on immigrant families.

“Anti-immigrant extremists in the GOP have taken hold of the party and are running rampant with attack after attack on our families. These outrageous assaults show how the party is not interested in governing the nation, but in pushing a xenophobic agenda,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos.

“Apparently, Republicans would rather play politics with people’s lives than allow this legislation that would protect victims of human trafficking. They seem to prefer endangering our communities—first with holding the DHS funding bill hostage, then with anti-immigrant bills in the House, and now with this ridiculous effort to take away rights provided by the Constitution,” Matos added.

“Our community is large and holds sway in the upcoming elections. These attacks are not going unnoticed. Republicans must realize that the choices they make today will determine the outlook for the party in the future. The immigrants’ rights movement will remember this and will make our voice heard in 2016,” Matos said.


Republican Anti-Immigrant Attacks Continue to Bog Down Congress

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015
Contact: Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@communitychange.org, 202.339.9377
Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org 202.339.9331

GOP Bills Attack Our Families Again

WASHINGTON-Today the House Judiciary Committee began debate on four harsh immigration enforcement-only bills that seek to overturn the critical policies announced by the President last November. These bills also deny relief to countless asylum-seekers, survivors of domestic violence and victims of human trafficking, and seek to strip children coming to the U.S. from Central America of critical due process safeguards. The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) strongly opposes these continued attacks against immigrant families.

FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos said these bills show that Republicans in Congress are continuing to play politics with our families.

“Republicans continue to push outrageous assaults on immigrants that not only fail to move the country forward, they jeopardize the safety of our communities and our values as a nation,” Matos said. “These bills offer no solutions for our broken immigration system and are proof perfect of the GOP’s inability to lead.” Matos added.

“Republicans, be warned. Leaders and activists in the immigrants’ rights movement will not forget these attacks on our families. When our votes are needed most, we will make clear that we remember who supported us and who stood against us,” Matos said.


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