Latinos from Across the Nation Hold Congressional Visits to Demand Immediate Halt of Deportations, Reunification of Families, and Fast-Track to Citizenship

PRESS STATEMENT:

February 12, 2013

Washington, DC – Following an afternoon of discussions with experts on immigration reform - including Oscar Chacón from the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), Ana Avendaño from the AFL-CIO, Donald Kerwin from the Center for Migration Studies, and James Ferg-Cadima from MALDEF, over 50 Latinos representing over 10 states reached consensus about their three priorities to support immigration reform legislation:

 The immediate halt of deportations of immigrants whose sole infraction is residing in the U.S. without authorization, and the release of detained immigrants without any violent criminal background.

Reunification of families, including elimination of waiting times greater than one year in the family visa petition system.

Legislation must include a swift, fair and humane access to legal permanent residency and eventual citizenship.

The organizations gathered in DC under the umbrella of NALACC, will be visiting congressional offices today, Tuesday February 12, to voice their priorities as immigrant communities and strong voting bloc in the nation, as well as to share the alarming realities caused by our broken immigration system in their particular states.

“Immigrants from Mexico and Central American countries make up the vast majority of people being placed in detention and subsequently deported at the rhythm of over 1,100 people per day,” expressed Oscar Chacón, Executive Director from NALACC. “The community demands a halt on deportations while immigration reform is debated in Congress. We cannot continue living in fear and watching our families being torn apart while Washington decides to update our immigration policies,” added Mr. Chacón.

“In recent years our country has increased expenditures for immigration enforcement and border control to unprecedented levels. We urge policymakers to recognize that effort and move away from the outdated notion that we must devote  even more resources to enforcement, " commented Angela Sanbrano, NALACC’s board president. “A much better way to spend precious tax payer dollars and increase public security would be to ensure a swift and fair access to legal permanent residency status to pending applicants, as well as for those residing in the U.S. without status,” concluded Ms. Sanbrano.

The organizations participating come to Washington, DC from: California, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Nevada, Nebraska, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas and Virginia. 

 “Our dozens of members are ready to educate our policymakers by putting a human face to immigration debate,” concluded Chacón.

To increase the understanding of the need of updating our immigration policies, NALACC, a network of community-based, Latino and Caribbean immigrant-led organizations across the United States, has put together a document to explain, “What is Wrong with Current Immigration Policy and How Can we Get it Right.” The document will be distributed to congressional offices and it is currently found on NALACC’s website: http://nalacc.org/getting-immigration-policy-right/

http://www.heartlandworkerscenter.org/hwcwpsite/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/20130212-On-immigrant-leadershio-gathering-on-immigration-reform-FINAL.pdf

Contact Person:  Xochitl Espinosa at (877) 683-2908, ext. 4 / xespinosa@nalacc.org

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