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Following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Today’s POLITICO highlights the escalating tactics of the immigrant rights movement as we call on House Republican leaders to act. It quotes two veteran Republican lawmakers criticizing our tactics, which only reinforces our belief that what our movement is doing is working.
History shows that major advances in human and civil rights are not won by sitting back and asking quietly for action. Progress is made by taking to the streets and relentlessly challenging our leaders to do what’s right.
The immigrants’ rights cause is not an ‘issue campaign.’ It is a real and vibrant social justice movement. Children, spouses, and others who are directly affected by deportation are petitioning their government—and the House Republican leaders who control their families’ fate—for action. Unfortunately, so far these brave Americans have been met with locked doors and callous silences. House Republican leaders can turn us away and criticize us, but we know they can hear us.
In June, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would create a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans. We know the votes exist in the House today to pass a similar bill, but the only action we’ve seen from House Republicans to date has been on a Steve King amendment to deport DREAMers. The House has the power to pass reform. They could choose any course of action, yet made a deliberate choice not to in 2013.
Every day the House fails to act on fair immigration reform is a day that another 1,100 American families are separated by deportation. We cannot and will not sit back and hope that House Republican leaders one day wake up and decide to do their jobs. We’re going to keep pushing them until they act. While it may be jarring to face children whose parents were taken away by immigration agents, that’s exactly the point. This is reality. If you don’t like it, change it.