For Immediate Release
November 19, 2009
Martine Apodaca (202) 383-5989
Demonstration of Organizational Might Shows Americans Committed to Passing Immigration Reform this Year
Washington, DC - Tonight, more than 60,000 activists, families, friends, and neighbors gathered for a nationwide tele-town hall event that created even greater momentum for comprehensive immigration reform legislation in 2010. The national teleconference was put together by an enormous coalition of faith, law enforcement, labor, civil rights, and immigrant advocacy groups working together to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year. The breadth and size of the coalition was reflected in the massive numbers of people who joined the call. The Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign organized 1,009 house parties in 45 states and Puerto Rico. More than 60,000 called in, joined house parties, or listened to live radio broadcasts.
Last week, anti-immigrant "tea party" activists held rallies to protest the mere presence of immigrants in the United States. However, their numbers paled in comparison to those who assembled tonight. NumbersUSA, a vehemently anti-immigrant organization, hailed a meager 50 events in only 26 states that they acknowledged were "not drawing huge crowds." In contrast, 400 activists showed up to a single pro-reform house party in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The teleconference, hosted by the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign and featuring Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Congressman Raul Grijalva, and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez comes just days after White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano indicated the White House is ready to push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2010. Tonight in schools, churches, and community centers all over the country Americans are organizing to push Congress to solve this problem once and for all.
Congressman Gutierrez outlined a progressive vision for immigration reform and told participants to continue organizing to hold their elected leaders accountable. "We need everyone on this call to take action with your churches, your families and your organizations so that we can deliver a strong message to President Obama and Congress that, hey, it has been a year…We want you to keep your promise to our families. We'll be watching on the State of the Union to make sure you keep your promise," said Gutierrez.
"In 2006 we marched, in 2008 we voted, and in 2009 and 2010 we're getting organized." said Congressman Grijalva.
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez said that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and its allies were committed to making immigration reform happen. "The CHC and its allies are working to ensure that comprehensive immigration reform finally become a reality. We have a President who, I think, understands that. We have Democratic majorities in the Congress, and we have a few Republicans who want to work with us to get this done," said Velazquez
Tonight's demonstration of organizational might shows that Americans from every part of the country are committed to achieving immigration reform and ready to get to work.
Audio will be available later on the campaign website http://reformimmigrationforamerica.org/
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN: The Reform Immigration FOR America campaign is a coalition of more than 600 faith, labor, business, progressive, and immigration reform groups that have joined together to get comprehensive immigration reform passed. For more information please visit www.reformimmigrationforamerica.org or www.reformamigratoriaproamerica.org
CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition, is a member of the Reform Immigration FOR America coalition and is the largest Latino and Latina civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit http://www.causaoregon.org/