FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2010
Francisco Lopez, Executive Director, 503.269.5694
Erik Sorensen, Communications Director, 503.488.0263
Tens of Thousands preparing for March 21st Action, while White House holds meetings to plan reform on immigration
Salem, Ore.--Immigration Reform advocates are stepping up pressure on the Obama Administration and Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform this year and fix America's broken immigration system.
Today, Ali Nooran, the chair of the Reform Immigration for America Campaign, and other immigrant rights leaders from grassroots, labor, and faith organizations met with President Obama at the White House to discuss the next steps for comprehensive immigration reform legislation. During the meeting, the President indicated that his administration is committed to driving a bill forward this spring.
The meeting with reform advocates came just hours before the President met with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) to discuss their bipartisan effort to sponsor comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the Senate. With Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) having already introduced a bill (HR4321) on the House side, the desperately needed reform will be right on track to pass Congress this year.
Later today, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are also expected to meet with the President to discuss the importance of passing health care and immigration reform.
"Our broken immigration system tears families apart, and keeps millions of people from living the American dream," said Francisco Lopez, Executive Director of CAUSA. "Students want to continue their educations, but can't attend college. Workers try to organize, but are kept in the shadows by their employers. Parents working to give their children better lives are facing an outdated, convoluted system. We need comprehensive immigration reform this Spring to fix our broken system and help millions of families."
On March 21st, Oregonians will join with other reform advocates from around the nation for a March on Washington D.C.. The March For America is expected to draw tens of thousands of people from the immigrant, labor, business, progressive and faith communities and will demonstrate the energy and strength to elected leaders that the need for good jobs and full citizenship for all of America's families must be fulfilled.
"Thousands of people are marching on Washington, DC. to show Congress that we can't wait any longer," said Lopez. "Too many people have been hurt by our broken immigration system, and it's time for our leaders to do the work we elected them to do. Our families, and our country, are counting on us."
In Oregon, CAUSA and reform advocates have been busy visiting the offices of Oregon's Congressional Delegation over the last couple months urging them to support Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act.
Last Sunday, 600 people, mostly comprised of Latino families and clergy from the Eugene-Springfield area, gathered outside the Office of Congressman Peter DeFazio. While there, they called on the Congressman to support the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity (CIR-ASAP) Act of 2009 (HR4321) and the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2009 (HR1751). Catholic leaders from Eugene and Springfield committed on Sunday to increase the pressure on DeFazio until he announces his support of both pieces of legislation.
Although some political pundits have dismissed the immigration issue as too politically risky in a mid-term election year, immigrant community leaders are making a persuasive counter argument. As they have pointed out, Latino voters are in a position to impact scores of close House and Senate races and they are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress on immigration reform in Congress. In a year when turnout clearly matters, can Congress and the Administration afford not to make good on promises to advance comprehensive immigration reform?
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 www.causaoregon.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
Statement by the President on Today’s Meetings on Immigration Reform