Dear friends, many of you probably listened to the President's speech earlier today. We're happy to share CIPC's press statement. Please let us know what YOU think on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
For immediate release: Jan 29, 2013
Contact: Isabel Alegria, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jon Rodney, email@example.com
Group applauds Obama's strong stance on citizenship and inclusion;
Calls for immediate halt to deportations under failed S-Comm program
Las Vegas - Reshma Shamasunder, Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, issued the following statement from Las Vegas, where she was one of thousands of activists and advocates to hear President Obama's remarks today:
Today, the President spoke a truth that we live each day when he pointed out that at its heart, the immigration debate is not simply about policy, but people. With great power and passion, he evoked the nation's deepest values as he told the American story of how in previous decades and centuries, "most of 'us' used to be 'them.'" Immigrants persevered, helping to build the nation after enduring resistance, hardship, racism and often ridicule. His remarks today add powerful momentum to the fight to win reform that truly enables "anyone from anywhere to write the next great chapter of our story." We whole-heartedly applaud the President's push for a road map to citizenship and his commitment to uphold equality for all, including LGBT couples. We commend the President's call for speedy action by lawmakers.
Despite the optimism reflected in the President's comments, there is a heartbreaking reality which we cannot ignore. Each and every day, aspiring Americans are still being separated from their families and deported by dangerous and divisive programs like "Secure" Communities. Working people who are still helping to strengthen this nation "hand by hand and brick by brick" face trivial or unjustified arrests for issues as minor as selling food without a permit, then extended detention in local jails, and finally, deportation to countries which they left long ago in search of a better life here. Contrary to what we heard today, the majority of people being deported through such programs did not have serious convictions.
As the immigration debate moves forward, we respectfully call on the President to take immediate steps to heal the pain of family separation by scrapping programs such as "Secure" Communities and reining in an unbalanced and unfair deportation system which does not reflect our key values of equality, family unity, and fairness.