What follows is an appeal from a coalition of diverse, progressive groups that are coming together to march for meaningful, bipartisan immigration reform.
On October 5, 2013 the broadest and most diverse movement, including our vast immigrant communities in America, as well as faith, labor, and civil rights groups, will join in marches and rallies in more than 60 cities across our nation. (A complete list, with local details, is available at: http://octoberimmigration.org/events/).
The broad movement for Dignity and Respect will march for immigration reform with legalization that leads to citizenship, legal immigration rules that promote family unity and protect worker rights. We will march to stop the attacks against our families through deportations. We will march to halt the massive wasteful spending on unneeded border militarization and for profit immigrant detention prisons.
It’s time to raise our voices and make sure Congress hears our call for Dignity and Respect!
While there are those who say that immigration reform is dead, we say the opposite. The moment has never been better for Speaker Boehner and his counterparts to heed the call for immigration reform and allow a vote on reform. This is the most sensible path for our country and our community.
Although a majority exist in support of immigration reform, Speaker Boehner has said he will not allow a vote if he doesn’t have the support of the majority of his party. A group of 118 Representatives—27% of the House—could prevent a 100% of the House to exercise their right to vote. This is outrageous and undemocratic. We refuse to allow a minority to block immigration reform we so urgently need.
October 8th Mobilization in Washington, DC: As part of major mobilizations for Dignity and Respect, on October 8th, tens of thousands of families and supporters from all walks of life will march from the National Mall to Capitol Hill to demand a vote on immigration reform and once and for all lead our immigrant communities on path to legalization and citizenship, promote the unity of families and strengthen our democracy and economy. Marked as “El Camino,” the day of action in Washington, DC will feature a concert with prominent Latino artists and a mass march for citizenship to amplify the voices and sound off the drums for reform throughout the grounds of Congress.
Our Key Messages:
Legalization and Citizenship
The United States urgently needs a simplified, affordable and accessible legalization program for all unauthorized immigrants now residing in the US. The most sensible program would enable these immigrants to attain Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) status and U.S. citizenship.
Deportation and Detention
Stop deportations that tear families apart.
Stop using detention as a remedy for people whose only violation of the law is being inside the country without proper authorization. Immigration reform should not be a giveaway to private prisons and immigrant detention centers
Keep Families Together
Our policies must facilitate family reunification—keeping families together makes our country stronger.
No Militarization on the Border
Cease building border walls and the militarization of the US Southern Border. Militarization is a waste of tax-payer funds on ineffective measures that create a climate of fear and hostility. It also sends a terrible message to our closest neighbors and allies. We should be building bridges with our allies in Mexico and Central America, not walls to separate us.
We expect real solutions to our deeply inhumane, obsolete and wasteful immigration policies. We call on policymakers from both parties not to let this opportunity for real reform slip away. The worst cruelty for the many millions of people currently living in fear of deportation would be to come out of this Congressional session empty handed.
The Un-SAFE Act is a draconian piece of legislation and a repeat of past anti-immigrant laws that have time and again been rejected by the American public and our communities throughout the nation. We will not allow a minority of House members to push legislation that would hatefully criminalize millions of our communities, eliminate DACA, pathetically offer second-class status and force law enforcement to practice racial profiling.
Enough is enough. The SAFE Act is another affront to our community, threatening to give the green light on racial profiling and create a police state. We cannot and will not allow this proposal to succeed or stop the momentum for real immigration reform.