COALITION FOR HUMANE IMMIGRANT RIGHTS OF LOS ANGELES
For immediate release: January 29, 2013 Contact: Jorge-Mario Cabrera, 562-243-5559
An American Century without an ‘us” vs. “them”
President Obama advances immigration reform principles to begin much needed work on humane, fair path to citizenship. Anyone can make America great, said the President.
Los Angeles – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) described President Obama’s address on immigration Tuesday as a significant turning point in American domestic policy and a ray of sunlight at the end of a long dark tunnel that has kept so many families in the shadows for more than two decades. The following is a statement by Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), traveling with a caravan of community members and immigration rights leaders in Las Vegas.
“We welcome the President’s impassioned statements that America is ready to overhaul an immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. We applaud the President’s inclusion of gays and lesbians as members of the family unit when applying immigration law and we agree with him that a path to citizenship should not become an insurmountable, extended ordeal.
We are saddened to hear the President still believes ‘smart enforcement’ is a priority. For the past decade, the United States has practiced only one single immigration policy: enforcement-heavy. In addition to the 1,580,359 immigrants deported during the past four years, many more families will be torn apart and never reunite if the mistaken notion of “back of the line” continues to permeate our idea of fair and tough immigration laws. Immigration reform can move forward without any out of step triggers that threaten to separate more families and delay a path to citizenship indefinitely.
Now that the Senate and the White House have shared roadmaps we can work with, it is time to get to the tough work of drafting legislation that best matches and serves our nation’s values and needs. We expect disagreements in Capitol Hill, but we will not tolerate partisan games. The American people expect their elected leaders to sit together and enact real and lasting solutions to the nation’s pressing issues.
Immigration reform is about opening opportunities for aspiring Americans to ‘write the next great chapter’ in our history. The huddled masses of yore are the aspiring citizens of today. The families that yearn to raise a family, build a house, send their kids to school, attend church, and pledge allegiance to this nation’s principles are the families that want to make sure ‘this century is like the last one: an American century” we can be proud of.”