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A Capitol Hill press conference early this morning, hosted by Democratic Reps. Luis Gutierrez (IL), Mike Honda (CA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Keith Ellison (MN), and Judy Chu (CA) launched the “Campaign for American Children and Families,” an immigration reform advocacy tour that will begin this weekend in Rhode Island and continue through at least May.
The legislators were joined onstage by families, community advocates, and religious leaders, who shared stories of deportation troubles and other scrapes with the US immigration system. The tour will lift up and publicize such stories, press President Obama to provide immigrants relief, and push 2012 candidates to commit to change.
A press release from Rep. Gutierrez’s office summarized what was shared:
They spoke about what they and their families face every day. Angie, a high school student from Maryland who was born in Guatemala, is an excellent student who has worked hard in school but faces an uncertain future because legislation that could have given her legal status, the DREAM Act, failed to garner 60 votes in the U.S. Senate last year. Maria, holding her daughter who is a U.S. citizen, told the story of how, after calling the police because of a domestic dispute with her husband, she ended up getting booked and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and put into deportation proceedings because of a program that enlists state and local law enforcement in identifying immigrants for deportation. Finally, Roberto Aguirre, a U.S. citizen from the Chicago area who said he voted for President Obama, introduced his wife and two children. Dolores, the wife, and one of their children, are currently fighting deportation despite the citizenship of the other members of the family.