Blog & Updates
Pelosi says the time is now to Fix our Immigration System
March 09, 2009 - Posted by Katherine Vargas
As reported earlier, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) has launched a national listening tour to hear testimony from families who have been impacted by the failed policies of our immigration system. The “Family Unity” tour will visit 17 cities including Phoenix, El Paso, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit and Orlando among others. During Saturday’s prayer event at St. Anthony's Church in San Francisco, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joined fellow Members of Congress to denounce immigration raids and deportations that have tear families apart and to call for an overhaul of our immigration system. The San Francisco Chronicle reports,
Pelosi, who has said securing U.S. borders is a top priority, used the forum to call for a comprehensive immigration program that recognizes the broad contributions immigrants have made to the fabric of the country.
"Our future is about our children," Pelosi told a crowd of mostly Latino families at St. Anthony's Church.
No matter if those families arrived two days ago or centuries ago, Pelosi said "that opportunity, that determination, that hope has made American more American."
She said, "Taking parents from their children ... that's un-American.
—Pelosi: End raids splitting immigrant families, March 8, 2009
We applaud Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her leadership in supporting the CHC’s efforts bring light into the shameful consequences of not fixing our dysfunctional immigration system — including the approximate 5 million U.S. citizen children who risk being left behind if their parents are deported.
Meanwhile, in San Bernardino, California, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) provided insight into the principles behind this national tour, as reported by the San Bernardino Sun,
Spearheaded by Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., the tour is meant to show the effects of the nation's immigration policy.
Gutierrez, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, urged attendees in Ontario to sign petitions asking for comprehensive immigration reform.
We will go from city to city, church to church and present the president with no other alternative than to listen to the majority's voice," Gutierrez said.
—Tour tries to put face on deportation, March 7, 2009
Joining these efforts to emphasize the urgency and moral imperative for immigration reform, is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who recently wrote an Op-Ed piece in El Diario/La Prensa – the largest Spanish language newspaper in New York – calling for an immigration policy that is “based on reality” and asking leadership in Washington to not use the recession as another excuse for not addressing our immigration troubles,
“One of the most important steps that Washington can do to promote economic growth in the long term is to fix our broken immigration system …[to] fully recover the state of our economy would require a national immigration policy that is based on reality, not on politics.
…An immigration policy based on reality means abandoning the misguided idea that we can deport the 11 million people who live here without visas. Not only would it be impossible, it would destroy many families and it would worsen our economic recession.
… We can not allow for the economic recession to pose as another excuse for inaction on immigration. As the Obama administration confronts the many current challenges, we hope to work with the President and Congress to create an immigration system that would strengthen our economy, protect our borders and honor our values” (Translated)
—Una Política Migratoria Basada en la Realidad, March 9, 2009
Laurels to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the CHC and Mayor Bloomberg for putting politics aside and calling for a solutions-approach to our immigration woes. We hope that their colleagues in Congress and the Obama Administration would soon follow suit.