A project of the Center for Community Change

Press Releases

Republicans Have Enabled Hate Speech – History Will Judge Them Harshly

Anti-immigrant Leader With Ties to GOP Calls for President to Be Lynched

WASHINGTON – The nation’s largest immigrant-rights coalition, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), released the statement below on behalf of Kica Matos in response to hate-filled statements about President Obama by Stephen Steinlight, of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). CIS provides Congressional Republicans and the Tea Party rely with hateful, anti-immigrant propaganda. The statement was picked up by Imagine 2050 and America’s Voice:

“Steinlight’s appalling, hateful, and dangerous rhetoric must be condemned far and wide – they simply have no place in public discourse. But the problem is bigger than the statement. It’s that the violent rhetoric is part of a broader pattern within the GOP.

“Hateful remarks like these are part of a noticeable effort coming from leading Republicans to dehumanize everyone they hate – from President Obama to immigrant communities. Just last week, Tea Party leader and former presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann attacked children fleeing violence, comparing them to rapists and criminals. Republicans are hoping to unify their base, not through solutions that compete in the political arena, but through hatred, violent rhetoric, and by scaring children who are fleeing for their lives. Indeed, within the GOP ranks, Mr. Steinlight is hardly alone.

“The Republican calculation, we can only presume, is to prop up their fledgling, shrinking, and divided base by abandoning immigrant families, children fleeing violence, and honorable public discourse.

“History will judge the GOP harshly for being the party that encourages violent rhetoric. Unfortunately for them, they’re already losing: Our families are more organized and energized than their anti-children hate squads. We will not be deterred from our fight – not even when they resort to activating their base through hatred.”


Bachmann’s Hateful Statements Are Inexcusable, Must Be Condemned

WASHINGTON – The nation’s largest immigrant-rights coalition, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), released the following statement on behalf of Kica Matos in response to Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) denigrating comments about the refugee children running away from gangs and violence and coming to the U.S. for help:

“The Republicans’ callous attitudes about vulnerable populations is nothing new. But smearing vulnerable children in danger of being tortured and killed is a dangerous, horrendous new low.

“If Bachmann and the Republicans had their way, we would send all of these children to their graves or to the ranks of the most dangerous gangs in the continent – those are the choices the children face. Republicans will apparently stop at nothing, having crossed a moral line that no elected official should ever be allowed to cross: denigrating vulnerable children and hitting them when they’re down.

“What’s worse, Bachmann’s comments did not happen by accident. They are part of a broader agenda by top Republican brass to send their henchmen out to smear the children and satisfy their own political ambitions – they will not let any sense of truth or shame get in the way of a political opportunity. Republicans are trying to use these imperiled children as a last stand for their shrinking base. This type of fear stoking from Republicans goes hand in hand with the hateful, visceral showing from the worst elements of their anti-immigrant wing – from people spitting on demonstrators to hateful graffiti on the path of the children.

“It is a tragic day when this is what one of our two major parties has to offer. Scapegoating children when they need help is the lowest of the low – it is dangerous. Bachmann’s statements must be condemned far and wide by the Republican Party.”


Pulitzer-prize Winning Former Journalist Arrested

WASHINGTON – The nation’s largest immigrant-rights coalition, the Fair Immigration Movement (FIRM), released the following statement on behalf of Kica Matos after reports that Pulitzer-prize winning former journalist Jose Antonio Vargas was detained by Customs and Border Patrol:

“Jose’s detainment is another egregious example of an out-of-control system that works every day to break communities and families apart.

“The act of detaining Jose highlights the urgent need to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Jose is an accomplished communicator – and a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist – who has dedicated his career to creating sensible dialogue about critical immigration issues. Detaining him tells our communities – millions of young people who know no other country but this – that they can play by the rules, pay their taxes and work to get ahead, but that our government may still refuse to accept them, and worse, detain them and possibly take them from their families.

“This is the unnecessary tragedy that millions of parents and children fear every day. And it is the tragedy that our families will fight to end. We demand Jose’s release, but we must do much more. We call on President Obama to do his part for our families so that they won’t have to suffer the fear and tragedy of needless separation.  We support the young people Jose got arrested for today and insist they treated fairly and humanely.”


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