Progressive organizations demand comprehensive immigration reform

Not quite content with the progress that Congress has already made this year in tackling “common sense immigration reforms,” a group of progressive civic associations, including the NAACP, SEIU and Asian American Justice Center, announced this morning that they will hold a rally in Washington, D.C. in April to demand that Congress and President Barack Obama create a legal pathway to citizenship by year’s end.

The rally will take place on the West Lawn of the White House on April 10 and will feature leaders from various labor, community & business leaders fighting to make this issue the ‘grassroots movement of 2013.’

“This is the year to pass comprehensive reform,” NAACP President Ben Jealous said during a press conference at the National Press Club this morning announcing the rally. He also added that the “country [right now] has the greatest level of consensus on the issue that we have ever seen.”

Immigration reform has been a dominant issue in Washington over the past few weeks. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented a proposal for comprehensive immigration reform during a speech at the National Press Club earlier this month. Just this past weekend a bipartisan group of Senators, including Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida and John McCain of Arizona, reached a deal that would provide a pathway to legal citizenship for illegal immigrants currently in the United States that will essentially give them amnesty. President Obama plans to announce his own plan for immigration reform during a speech in Las Vegas tomorrow.

“For the first time ever there is more political risk in opposing immigration reform than supporting it,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a press conference about the Senate deal earlier this afternoon. The Senate’s plan focuses on increased border security enforcement a guest worker program complete with employer verification checks in addition to a pathway for legal citizenship for illegal aliens already in the United States.

Public opinion on the issue has also shifted in recent months toward support of a pathway to citizenship. A Fox News poll released earlier today found that two in three Americans support a pathway to citizenship with conditions.

While the leaders at this morning’s press conference applauded Washington for pursuing comprehensive immigration reform this year, they all agree that the lawmakers aren’t going far enough. They maintain that the reforms cannot be ‘piecemeal,’ and must include some type of pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country. They also call on Congress and President Obama to include in their plan protections for LGBT immigrants and a stronger push to keep families together in the United States.

Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center, noted during the conference that nearly half of the 4.3 million people waiting to join their families in the United States, 2 million, of them are Asian. Veronica Saravia, an 18-year old youth leader at CASA de Maryland, and her 10-year old sister Diana discussed their family’s struggle to stay together in the United States, as Diana was born in the U.S. but Veronica and her parents were not.

“I will never forget my family because keeping families together is important,” Veronica remarked.

“Families do better when they are united,” added Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK.

The coalition’s leader, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, noted that the fact that they can push for immigration reform this year is a “testament to the power of an increasingly diverse electorate,” adding that communities today no longer stand for our current outdated immigration code.

 

Comments

Comments

  1. Phil McMorrow says:

    To paraphrase W C Fields, “Give them an evasive answer, tell them to go @#$% themselves.”

Polititainment

'SNL' laughs at North Korea, Sony hacks
“Saturday Night Live” hit on North Korea and the Sony hacks twice this weekend, proving that unlike most of Hollywood, they aren’t scared of Kim Jong-un. The show started off with a bang, bringing back Mike Myers as Dr. Evil to interrupt the cold open and discuss his anger over the North Korea and Sony hacker […]
RNC asks theaters to show 'The Interview
The Sony hack and subsequent cancellation of “The Interview” has gone fully political. President Obama made an official statement on this decision and now the Republican National Committee is weighing in. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus asks that movie theaters not bow down to North Korea and stand up to this decision by screening the film […]
Obama: LeBron 'did the right thing'

President Obama supports LeBron James' decision to wear an "I can't breathe" t-shirt during warmup before the NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets last week.

Al Sharpton, Hollywood's Sony Liaison

In a private meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Greenwich Hotel in New York City Thursday, Sony Pictures chair Amy Pascal told Sharpton that he could have a voice in how the movie studio makes its films.

Clooney: Release 'The Interview' online

George Clooney may have the most awesomely toothy response to the Sony Pictures cyberattack that forced the movie studio to pull the film "The Interview" from its December 25 release.

White House

Obama: I will do ‘everything I can’ to close Guantanamo Bay
President Obama may have signed the defense bill that keeps Guantanamo Bay open for another year, but he is still verbally promising to close down the facility. Obama appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday and discussed closing Gitmo by the end of next year with host Candy Crowley. “I’m going to do everything […]
Obama: ‘We’re not going to be intimidated’ by Sony hackers
President Obama appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning and covered a variety of topics ranging from racism to North Korea and the Sony hacks. Obama repeated his earlier statements about the hacks, implying again that Sony made the wrong call by canceling screenings of “The Interview.” “The Boston Marathon suffered an actual […]
Obama: we can’t have censorship subject to ‘some dictator someplace’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government.

U.S. confirms North Korea was behind Sony attack and promises ‘proportional’ response

Officials no longer merely suspect North Korea to be behind the cyberattack on Sony Picture—they’ve confirmed it.

District court declares Obama’s executive action on immigration unconstitutional
A federal court in Pennsylvania declared parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration unconstitutional Tuesday. Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the western district of Pennsylvania, said presidents do have the power to use discretion in deciding how to enforce laws, but found that Obama’s recent executive action went much further than that.  He said Obama was writing […]

Congress

House GOP wants to give Obama coal for Christmas
President Obama is getting nothing but a lump of coal from House Republicans this Christmas. But he’s not getting it because he’s been naughty — although some would certainly argue he fits that description — instead, it’s to teach him about the country’s resource that “holds the potential for a 21st-century economic revival.” Rep. Mike […]
Rubio, Paul feud continued on ABC's 'This Week'
Likely 2016 presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have been going after each other all week for statements made on President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba and the feud did not take a break over the weekend. The Florida senator, one of the most outspoken critics of the new Cuba policy, appeared on […]
Rubio says Rand Paul is clueless on Cuba

Sen. Marco Rubio made his criticism of a fellow Republican plain Thursday night.

Gowdy's office responds to Speaker chatter

Rep. Trey Gowdy has become a sensation on the Right, with his no-nonsense style and committee hearing takedowns of Obama officials garnering him praise and attention.

Rand Paul: 'Opening up Cuba is a good idea'

Sen. Rand Paul broke with the Republican Party's prevailing argument against President Obama's Cuba policy Thursday, saying the move toward opening trade with the long-embargoed nation "probably" is a good idea.