En Español Know Your Rights
Source: New York Daily News
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Finally, a national push for immigration reform

Things are
moving pretty rapidly on the immigration front – and President Obama’s
leadership has much to do with it.

 


The
President has called for a bipartisan meeting on Monday with members of both
houses of Congress to explore effective ways to speed immigration reform
forward this year.

 


Meanwhile,
this week, hundreds of reenergized advocates across the country are organizing
a series of events to launch the Reform Immigration for America
campaign, a broad-based national effort to fix the nation’s broken immigration
system through a comprehensive legislative approach.

 
 

"The
reality is that the President wants immigration reform, the American people
want immigration reform, and we are launching the Reform Immigration for America campaign to make it happen," said
Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a
nonpartisan group in Washington.

 


Two
hundred organizations have signed on to the campaign that was announced Monday
in more than 30 cities.

 
 

Locally, Make the Road New York – a grass-roots community group with offices in Brooklyn,
Queens and Staten Island – and the New York Immigration Coalition announced
their participation to an enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Prince George
Ballroom in Manhattan.

 


"The
room was completely full," said
Javier Valdés, of
Make the Road by Walking
. "There were more than 250 people, from labor leaders to business
owners, from religious leaders to community organizers, pretty much the kind of
coalition that will be needed to be effective."

 


The local
announcements were followed by a press conference held at the National Press
Cub in Washington
yesterday attended by a diverse coalition.

 


Groups
such as the AFL-CIO, the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, the
SEIU, the National Council of La Raza, the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and
the National Immigration Forum said they are optimistic Congress will pass an
immigration reform law in the coming months.

 
 

The
group’s leaders described "a new political reality" made up of
"a united labor movement and a President committed to comprehensive
reform," as well as unprecedented voter mobilization and turnout in
immigrant communities last November.

 

The also
point to polls showing support for reform from at least 60% of American people,
and the practical impossibility of deporting 12,000,000 people.

 
 

Also in Washington, a national
summit bringing together 700 grass-roots advocates representing more than 35
states convened yesterday and will run through Friday.

  

A NATIONAL TOWN HALL meeting on Capitol Hill
Thursday, focusing on the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to the
immigration crisis, will include key members of Congress such as Sen. Charles
Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), and
immigration subcommittee chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.). They are
likely to be among those meeting with President Obama in a few days.

 


"The
purpose of the summit is to prepare for the June 8 meeting,"
Valdés
said. "From that day on, we will have a lot of work ahead of us."

 


Also,
organizers said, the campaign is an effort to help support Obama and ensure
that his promises of comprehensive immigration reform becomes legislative reality.

 


"The
time to act is now, and we are committed to do all we can to help the President
and Congress to make immigration reform a reality,"
Valdés
said.