Nebraska Organizations Gather Calling Upon Officials for a Humane and Comprehensive Immigration Reform

On Tuesday, April 4 more than 40 organizations gather to call upon our elected officials to act promptly and move forward with a truly adequate and humane immigration reform.  Sergio Sosa, Executive Director of the Heartland Workers Center and organizational member of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) expressed there position on why they the support on a Humane and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  Sergio Sosa Expressed:

1. For more than the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, today is a moment of opportunity, for all of us and our elected officials to stop talking about immigration reform and actually GET IT DONE!

2. As a result of the surprising voter turnout among Latino/a voters in the 2012 Presidential Elections, the push for immigration reform has moved to the forefront.  But as we move forward, we must ask ourselves what type of immigration reform is best for our country, and remember that making something happen isn’t the same as equipping a nation with a truly adequate and humane immigration policy solution.

3. At one of our leadership meetings two weeks ago, a woman shared her own story, stating:  “I came to the US 15 year ago, leaving Mexico because I was sexually assaulted by three government officials.  Like so many other immigrants, I crossed the border and worked at any job possible until I was able to bring my daughters to be with me.  They graduated high school and looked forward to college, only to find out that was impossible without papers.  When Deferred Action or DACA was passed in June 2012, one thought it was an opportunity for her to continue studying, only to find out two weeks ago, she was not approved. Now, I am facing deportation, and after 15 year living among all of you, I forgot I was undocumented.”  She also said, “I am going back to a Mexico I don't know any more, I do not have a house there and I’m leaving my family and this county I love so much.”  And with that, Doña Lourdes left last Saturday.

Sharing this story with you all leads me to my final point - What kind of Immigration Reform we need:

From the perspective of immigrant communities, true reform must be detached from the current policy framework, which has proven harmful, and has led to an increasing separation of families due to the difficulty of attaining legal permanent resident status; the increased criminalization; and high levels of incarceration as a result of immigration law violations, and the extremely high rates of deportations, specifically over the last four years.

Therefore, as our conversation moves forward, there are three pillars that must be part of a comprehensive immigration reform:

•Halt Deportations Now:  For those immigrants whose only infraction has been residing in the U.S. without authorization and release those detained immigrants without any violent criminal background

•Keep Our Families Together:  Reunite our families and eliminate the long waiting periods for the family visa petition system

A Path to Citizenship:  Immigration Reform should include a swift, fair, and humane access to legal permanent residency, which puts people on a direct path to citizenship.

Today, we call upon our elected officials to act promptly and move forward with a truly adequate and humane immigration reform.

For more information on this matter please contact the Heartland Workers Center at 402-933-6095.

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