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Saturday, February 13, 2010

80 March and Rally for Immigration Reform in Bend

February 13, 2010

Bend, Ore--On Friday, close to 80 people including members of Recursos para Derechos Humanos, Central Oregon Jobs with Justice, CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition and residents of Deschutes County marched to the district office of Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) in Bend.

The goal of the action was to ask Congressman Walden to support the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2009 (HR1751) and to join on as a co-sponsor of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009 (HR 4321). Both bills have wide support among business associations including those representing the Nursery and Restaurant Industry, Law Enforcement, Clergy and Faith-based Organizations, Labor Unions, Civil Rights Organizations and Community Leaders.

While gathering for the march, immigrant rights supporters were greeted by five rowdy protestors opposing immigration reform. One angry anti-reform protestor attempted in vain to block the peaceful marchers as they walked to lobby their Congressman. Regardless of the few disruptive detractors, pro-reform advocates received a great deal of positive vocal support and applause from business owners and passers-by as they marched down the sidewalk to Congressman Walden's office.

After arriving outside the office to hold a short rally, reform advocates were invited in to discuss their request. While inside, they turned in close to 500 postcards asking Congressman Walden to join as a co-sponsor of CIR-ASAP and to support the DREAM Act.

This is not the first time CAUSA and Reform Allies have communicated with Congressman Walden around the issue of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Last year, a delegation from Oregon attended the Reform Immigration FOR America summit in Washinton D.C which included a visit to Capitol Hill. Members of CAUSA, PCUN, Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas and Rural Organizing Project met with Congressman Walden. (The photo to the left is from that visit.)

Friday's action is part of a nationwide mobilization to shore up Congressional support for the DREAM Act (HR1751) and CIR-ASAP Act (HR 4321). The event at Congressman Walden's office marked the 7th and final action of the first round of visits to Oregon's Congressional Delegation. The next round lobbying will begin in the coming weeks.

News Coverage:
KOHD News (ABC) Bend: Immigration Reform Rally in Downtown Bend

KTVZ News Channel 21 Bend: Bend rally puts focus on immigration reform debate



mark_grecko said...

H.R.4321 will relight the torch of Lady Liberty and save American families suffering under the Draconian rule of IIRAIRA 96.

I want to bring to your attention how this law is killing my family and others like mine...

Imagine if your family were forced by the United States to be separated from you because of a mistake on their part a misunderstanding of a law and that law carried penalties beyond what they could imagine that were harsh, cruel and merciless. Laws that did not have any provision to atone for the mistake...

IIRAIRA 96 is that set of laws. It is a set of immigration laws that carry cruel and harsh penalties that destroy American families of foreign nationals... such as 212(a)(6)(c)(i) and 212(a)(6)(c)(ii)and the penalties found therein violate Eleanor Roosevelt’s greatest legacy, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United States in 1948.

“ I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice." - Abraham Lincoln

Please change or repeal the laws that removed the waiver provisions that allowed American families to remain united...

Each and every night I put my little boy to bed, who is too young to understand what is happening to his family. Knowing the hurtful times that lie ahead, I then retire to my room, lay down next to my wife, and feel my heartbreaking overwhelmed with grief and soon our son will feel the unbearable pain of a broken heart, because this great nation does not care what happens to us, has forgotten us and other American families like ours. We only ask for mercy and compassion so we can keep our American families united.

IIRAIRA 96 will separate my son from his grandmother and be the catalyst that will cause my mother's death because without the joy and happiness he brings her, she will be stripped of her will to live. As a grandparent, I know you will understand.

If I could, I would get down on my knees before the honorable men and women of Congress, the Senate and the President to plea for mercy, compassion and empathy to keep my family united.

Does anyone hear us?

Does anyone care?

How many American families will end up exiled, ruined and ripped apart because of IIRAIRA 96?

How long will IIRAIRA 96 go unchecked?

Please do not let this law continue to destroy American families.

Where are the nations who ruled with an iron rod now?

As they weakened, the laws became harsher and merciless. Until they were choking the liberties and life out of their citizens destroying the building blocks of societies, families. Then those nations were no more... Do not let this happen to this Nation.

"A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It’s a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity." - Jimmy Carter

The men and women in Washington know in their hearts what is right and that protecting American family unity is the right course of action. But, who are the great statesmen and stateswomen who will make a stand for true justice and make it possible to keep American families united.

Mark Grecko
North Lauderdale, Florida

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