Blog & Updates
Extra! Extra! From Coast to Coast, Campaign Sparks Movement for Immigration Reform
June 04, 2009 - Posted by Katherine Vargas
Hundreds of grassroots advocates from coast to coast are gathering together in Washington, D.C. this week to unite forces and launch the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign. The Campaign calls for an American solution to an American problem by reforming our immigration system to a system that upholds our values, restores the rule of law, and responds effectively to the economy and labor markets.
The Campaign kicked off on Monday with over 40 local launch events all across the country. From New York to Seattle, to Nashville and Omaha, advocates had a clear message to the country: The time is now to reform our immigration system, for families, for workers, for the economy and for security. Here are a few highlights of these local launch events, for a more comprehensive list of news coverage visit: http://www.reformimmigrationforamerica.org/blog/press/
§ Atlanta, GA: Associated Press
Representatives from labor, faith, business and immigrants' rights groups gathered Monday outside the Capitol to launch the Georgia arm of the national Reform Immigration FOR America campaign.
``This is for us to start rallying and for us to start getting the debate going in local cities and communities before members of Congress from both parties start meeting next week to discuss immigration reform,'' said state Rep. Pedro Marin, a Duluth Democrat who is one of few Hispanic state legislators.
—Activists Seek Immigration Reform, June 1, 2009
§ Las Vegas, NV: Las Vegas Sun
Supporters of immigration reform gathered on the steps of the Lloyd George Federal Building on Monday for the Nevada launch of a national campaign to reform American immigration law…
“What we need to do is put parties aside, put political philosophy and differences aside and really sit down and identify the issues that are out there and come up with common-sense solutions,” said Alex Garza, a businessman and member of the Latin Chamber of Commerce.
—Immigration Advocates rally for system Overhaul, June 1, 2009
§ New Bedford, Massachusetts: South Coast Today
New England immigrant advocates are launching a second campaign for comprehensive reform, vowing the time is ripe for the federal government to enact measures that failed to pass Congress two years ago.
"It is different this time," said Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. With a new president, a "more progressive" Congress and a "broader, stronger and more unified" coalition of immigration reform advocates, the stage is set for reform that will create a path to citizenship for the country's estimated 12 million undocumented workers, Millona said.
—Advocates push for Immigration Reform, June 2, 2009
On Wednesday, a press conference inaugurated the 3-day national summit with the participation of almost 800 grassroots advocates representing more than 35 states. The conference featured a diverse array of leaders from civil rights, labor groups, business, progressive organizations, faith groups and immigrant and ethnic rights groups.
You can view a full video of the press conference here.
Here are some snippets from the conference:
§ New America Media
The Reform Immigration FOR America campaign announced its plan to garner enough votes to pass what it says are needed changes in U.S. immigration policy.
“Two hundred seventy nine votes, 218 in the House; 60 in the Senate,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Reform, referring to the number of votes needed to send legislation to the desk of President Barack Obama. Obama’s signature, in effect, would be the 279th vote, and should the vision of the coalition hold sway, the legislation would introduce dramatic changes in U.S. immigration policy.
Key concerns include family reunification, the harshness of enforcement raids, border security, and effective means to address undocumented workers. There are an estimated 12 million immigrants in the country.
§ New York Daily News
The group's leaders described "a new political reality" made up of "a united labor movement and a President committed to comprehensive reform," as well as unprecedented voter mobilization and turnout in immigrant communities last November.
The also point to polls showing support for reform from at least 60% of American people, and the practical impossibility of deporting 12,000,000 people.
—Finally, a National Push for immigration reform, June 4, 2009
§ National Journal
They said Obama promised as a presidential candidate to advance immigration reform legislation this year -- and they are holding him to that pledge.
"From the Latino community's perspective, a promise is a promise," Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, said during a news conference to kick off a national campaign for immigration reform.
The coalition, which includes labor, immigrant and religious groups, expects comprehensive immigration reform legislation to be introduced in Congress this fall and enacted by February, said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum.
—Latino groups vow to keep pressure on immigration, June 4, 2009
There’s growing momentum for moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform this year. Strong support from new and diverse allies who are joining the battle for immigration reform and a new campaign to lift the voices of those who want a solutions-based approach to our immigration problems will help support President Obama and ensure that his promise to push for comprehensive immigration reform become legislative reality.