A project of the Center for Community Change

Press Releases

FIRM Statement on Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller Motion to Delay Implementation of Administrative Relief

(WASHINGTON)–The following statement is from Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) in response to Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller’s filing of a motion to delay the government’s request to the Supreme Court to review the Fifth Circuit’s decision in the Texas lawsuit that is blocking the implementation of President Obama’s 2014 deferred action initiatives.

“We are appalled — but not surprised by the actions of Republican anti-immigrant politicians who continue to wage a hate-filled war against our immigrant families.  The motion filed yesterday by Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller is an overtly political act aimed at intentionally delaying the implementation of President Obama’s executive actions granting administrative relief to millions of our immigrant families. It is unacceptable, inhumane, and unethical, and highlights the continued political bias and conservative agenda being pushed by Republican Attorneys General.”

“We will not back down. Latino and immigrant communities will continue to fight hard to defend President Obama’s executive actions from anti-immigrant politicians. We will fight hard and fight back until we can move to implement DACA+ and DAPA.”


New “DAPA Dinners” Effort Invites 2016 Candidates to Break Bread with Immigrant Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015
CONTACT: Michael Earls,  202-494-8555

Effort Seeks to Connect Candidates with DAPA-Eligible Families for Dinner On or Around the 1-Year Anniversary of DAPA Announcement on Nov. 20th

(Washington, DC)—Today, America’s Voice, United We Dream Action and Center for Community Change Action/Fair Immigration Reform Movement announce “DAPA Dinners” – a new initiative that invites all 2016 candidates and Members of Congress to join an immigrant family for dinner on or around the one-year anniversary of the DAPA announcement on November 20, 2015.

On November 5th, the three organizations sent a letter to all presidential candidates of both parties inviting each candidate to break bread with a DAPA-eligible family. A similar letter to Senators and Members of Congress was also distributed today.

In the Huffington Post, Elise Foley highlights the new “DAPA Dinners” effort, noting:

“[T]he organizers said they want the presidential hopefuls to ‘see for yourself how they are just like other American families.’ They’re willing to do the dinners any time that’s convenient and in any state — a move that makes it harder for candidates to use scheduling conflicts as an excuse.

…There are numerous examples of politicians seeing an issue differently because they know someone affected — look at New Jersey governor and GOP candidate Chris Christie’s remarks on addiction, or Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announcing support for same-sex marriage after his son came out as gay. And the immigrant rights community has used that strategy for years, with people ‘coming out’ as undocumented in hopes that it would show friends and neighbors the need for immigration reform.”

According to Greisa Martinez, Advocacy Coordinator for United We Dream: “With 2016 politics there’s been a lot written about what each of the candidates would do for our families—or against them. But it’s important for our politics to be grounded in the real lived experiences of our families, not just talking points and soundbites.”

According to Sulma Arias, Immigration Field Director for CCCA/FIRM: “Any presidential candidate who sits down with an immigrant family no doubt will discover that the love they have for each other is worth every sacrifice they have made to come to the U.S. to make better lives. And we hope candidates will see that their policies have real effects on families in a way that can allow America to move forward around an agenda that puts families first and keeps them together.”

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice: “Millions of American families who would benefit from DAPA are instead stuck in limbo due to the ongoing legal challenges against these programs and the recent partisan ruling in the 5th circuit. This means that the Supreme Court should take up the case next term to affirm the constitutionality of DAPA. This also means that candidates of both parties should take the time to meet DAPA-eligible families to learn what is at stake and who is affected most by the ongoing delays.”

Candidates who join a DAPA dinner will be making modern presidential campaign history. We aren’t aware of any previous occasions of presidential candidates visiting with an immigrant family headed by an undocumented immigrant.

For a copy of the invitation sent to each presidential campaign, click here.


Presidential Candidates Sanders, O’Malley Address Immigrant Rights Summit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, Nov. 9, 2015
CONTACT: Carlos Vogel, (202) 460-0713, cvogel@cccaction.org

Forum Co-Sponsored by Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and The Nation

(LAS VEGAS)—Sen. Bernie Sanders and Gov. Martin O’Malley participated in a non-partisan presidential forum co-hosted by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) in partnership with The Nation that took place in two sessions, today and yesterday, in Las Vegas to address issues that directly impact immigrant communities in America.

“This forum is a testament to the power of FIRM and our families,” said Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at the Center for Community Change Action (CCCAction).” Thanks to pro-immigrant voters in America every path to the White House in America must address our families! Because of the power of our families, politicians, especially presidential candidates, must be accountable to a vision for immigrant families in America.”

During the forum, Ivania Castillo from Virginia representing CASA in Action pointed out that “FIRM fights for the most vulnerable among immigrants- the undocumented and low wage workers, people who pay billions in taxes and are unable to access basic benefits like social security and tax credits. And despite all odds, there are many success stories – as students, business owners, contributors to our local communities, schools and the economy.”

Gustavo Velasco from Nevada representing the PLAN Leadership Alliance of Nevada asked both candidates during both forum sessions how they would deal with aggressive enforcement leading to detaining, incarcerating and deporting unprecedented numbers of immigrants.

Priscilia Rodriguez representing Michigan People’s Campaign, who has four children and is facing deportation, pressed Sen. Sanders on what his specific plans would be to invest targeted resources in the poorest communities of America would look like.

Angelica Salas, the executive director of the CHIRLA Action Fund in California, closed the forum with a powerful message to anti-immigrant extremists.

“And to the haters – the ones who call us dirty names, who see us through the prisms of skin color and the hemispheres where our families come from we say this: You are the past.  We are the future,” Salas said.

The presidential forum sessions, were part of a three day FIRM Strategy Summit that is taking place in Las Vegas through Nov. 10. The entire forum can be viewed at http://www.fairimmigration.org/livestream/


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