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Monday, April 19, 2010

Students and Faith Community keep pressure on DeFazio over Immigration Reform

Springfield, Ore.--Last week, students from the University of Oregon, members of the local faith community and immigration reform advocates continued their pressure on Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) over the issue of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

On Tuesday, 40 students and citizens canvassed the campus area, knocking on a combined 249 doors in 1 hour. Their message focused on Representative DeFazio and their call for him to help pass desperately needed reform legislation.

Since January, Reform Advocates around the state have been ramping up pressure on Oregon's Congressional Delegation calling for them to stop the pain that families are suffering under our current broken immigration system and support immigration reform. As Congressman DeFazio has refused to commit to anything on immigration reform, residents of Lane County have been increasing in their engagement over the issue holding events throughout the district.

At least five of the seven members of the Oregon's Congressional delegation have committed to working to pass reform legislation. Congressman Earl Blumenauer has joined on as a Co-Sponsor of Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity (CIR-ASAP) Act of 2009 (HR 4321) and has been an outspoken advocate for reform.

On Saturday, over 80 members of the local Catholic Faith Community gathered for a prayer vigil outside the Springfield home of Congressman DeFazio. The group largely from St. Alice Catholic Church of Springfield and St. Mary's Catholic Church of Eugene engaged in song and prayer while holding signs and candles calling on the Congressman to hear the voices of justice and support HR 4321.

During the vigil, the Congressman's neighbors, many who attended, were very supportive of the action. One neighbor even brought his car with a lamp to provide lighting for the vigil.

There is a growing frustration around the nation as members of Congress stall on immigration reform while families are being separated. People of faith in communities across the country are urging Congress to reform the country's broken immigration system this year.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity (CIR-ASAP) Act of 2009 (HR 4321) was introduced in Congress on December 15, 2009 by Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez and would:

  • Create millions of new taxpayers by requiring undocumented immigrants to register, go through background checks, pay taxes, and study English on their way to becoming full U.S. citizens.
  • Protect workers and help with economic recovery
  • Keep families together
  • Protect the due process rights of all
  • The Senate has yet to introduce a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, although the Democratic Leadership and the President has said that they plan to pass reform legislation this year.

    Students Pound Pavement for Immigration Reform
    PHOTOS: Prayer Vigil for Immigration Reform outside the home of Congressman DeFazio



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