Rep. Gutierrez Joins Immigrant, Labor and Faith Leaders to Discuss 2 Million Deportations Mark, Border Mass, Cesar Chavez Movie and More
As the groundbreaking “Cesar Chavez” biopic hit movie theatres last weekend, Catholic Bishops shone a spotlight on the need to end family separations this week, and activists in 80 cities prepare major events highlighting family separations to take place on Saturday, the pro-immigrant movement continues to organize for action from Washington, DC leaders.
This week, longtime immigration reform champion Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) ) told House Republicans that time is running out for them to take action on immigration reform. If action isn’t taken by the July 4th Congressional recess, he predicts that President Obama will take bold executive action to keep immigrant families together.
As he said on today’s Office Hours call:
Republicans can either see a grateful nation and a grateful immigrant community lining up for immigration status the Republicans helped draft or they can watch the President and the Democrats do what they have to do without them. Either way, I think a substantial number of immigrants are going to be lining up sometime later this year to apply for some sort of deportation relief and I will be there helping them.
And as the heat turns up inside the beltway, efforts to ramp up pressure from the outside are turned up as well. Catholic leaders stepped up efforts to highlight the moral cost of inaction at the border, holding a mass in Nogales, Arizona.
Said Kevin Appleby, Director of Migration and Public Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
There is a human side to this issue that is often forgotten. The social cost of inaction is incalculable, as our government continues to deport the parents of a millions of U.S.-citizen children. Is this how we should invest in and protect this generation of children, the future leaders of our nation?
Additionally as the groundbreaking “Cesar Chavez” biopic made waves across the country this week, the Republican Party continued to offer fresh reminders of how its extreme, anti-immigrant wing is defining the Party’s image to Latino voters in the vacuum left by Republican inaction on immigration reform—Senate Republicans objected to a Senate resolution honoring Latino civil rights hero Cesar Chavez.
Giev Kashkooli, a National Vice President of United Farm Workers, said:
As opening weekend box office receipts demonstrate, Americans from all walks of life draw inspiration from ‘Cesar Chavez.’ Farm workers continue to draw inspiration from Cesar Chavez’s leadership and courage. Whether they are negotiating a contract with one of the most powerful agricultural companies or engaging in nonviolent action for immigration reform, ‘Cesar Chavez’ the movie is serving as a reminder for farm workers and all Americans that they too have the power to bring about transformational change in their lives and the lives of their families.
To mark the 2 millionth deportation under the Obama Administration, activists from across the country are holding rallies and posting up at the President’s front door.
Tania Unzueta, #Not1More Campaign Organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, explained on today’s call:
Grassroots pressure has penetrated beltway and created space for inevitable relief. This weekend more than 80 events are planned around the country to say #Not1More. That campaign will continue in order to ensure that the President provides the broadest relief possible under the law and begins the necessary process of dismantling the deportation machine built under his administration.
- For a recording of today’s Office Hours, click here.
- For recordings and resources from prior Office Hours calls, click here.
- Read more about the national “Two Million Two Many” events” here and here.
- Read more about the unjust deportation of Jaime Valdez and Ardani Rosales and their effort to reunite with their families here.