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Supporters Around the Country to Demand a Vote on Citizenship During “Immigration Reform Summer”

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The following is a press release from the Alliance for Citizenship:

Hundreds of Events in August will Target Key Members and Urge the House to Take Up Immigration Reform

The American people support reform with a path to citizenship. The Senate passed a comprehensive, bipartisan bill and now it’s the House’s turn. We have the support of a majority of House members for a path to citizenship. All we need is a vote.

This is the message that local leaders and thousands of community members will bring to key Congressional targets while members are home for the August recess.  Today, national leaders of the immigration reform movement laid out the plans for “Immigration Reform Summer” at a press conference detailing the massive effort to put pressure on key targets to act when they return to Congress in the fall.

Speakers highlighted specific actions being planned in target districts and spoke of the importance of August recess to make clear to House Republicans that our movement is diverse, growing and won’t stop until we get a vote on citizenship when they return.

“The key to passing comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S House of Representatives is to keep building on the momentum that led to the impressive bipartisan coalition of stakeholders who championed reform in the Senate, “ said Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-TX).  If our communities pull together in August and continue to press their representatives, those stonewalling progress will have no choice but to let us fix our nation’s broken immigration system and take a vote on comprehensive reform when we get back to DC.”

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) added, “Our movement is broad and deep.  In August, Republicans will be hearing from their constituents, from business owners, from law enforcement, from clergy, from their voters and their campaign contributors that sensible immigration reform absolutely has to pass this year.  If they go to a beach resort, I want the hotel owner and the maid who puts a chocolate on their pillow to talk to them about immigration reform.  Another 40,000-50,000 people will be deported while Congress is on vacation and we simply cannot allow Republicans to drag their feet.”

Lee Saunders, President, AFSCME said, “The only obstacle between America and a workable immigration system is whether or not Speaker John Boehner allows the House– where we believe the majority favors reform –to take an up or down vote. That means we must keep up the pressure on House GOP leadership.”

Mee Moua, President and Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC said, “The Asian American community will be vigilant this summer and beyond to protect all immigrant families. We will make our voices heard by engaging with Members of Congress in our districts. The failed immigration system needs commonsense reform that keeps families together, provides a reasonable and fair pathway to citizenship, and will be able to adapt to future immigrants.”

Eddie Carmona, PICO National Network
said, “When members of Congress go home to their districts in August, people of faith will be waiting for them. We’re turning up the heat on these members and making sure they hear from all the immigrant Americans in their districts and from their families, friends, neighbors and faith communities who are citizens planning to vote in the 2014 elections. From Ohio to Colorado and from California to Florida, members of House who haven’t publicly expressed support for a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million aspiring Americans will feel the heat from us until they do.”

Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Director, Civic Engagement and Immigration, NCLR
said, “The voices calling for immigration reform represent every segment of American society and will follow members home and back.  It is time for the House to answer the call–America deserves a vote.”

“Speaker Boehner and Republicans in the House are in for a big surprise this August recess. The broadest, most diverse coalition in America are ready to welcome them home.  From civic engagement activities, phone-banking and participating in town halls to continuing our ad campaign and rallying in the corners of their districts, we will be pounding the drums for immigration reform, said Eliseo Medina, International Secretary-Treasurer, SEIU. In the midst of it all, we expect there will be a minority of naysayers who tout the Steve King rhetoric or who live in a past that goes against the grain of our national values. They can choose to stand on the wrong side of history, but we welcome them to pause and take a look at what’s right in front of them: an America that is embracing millions of aspiring Americans who contribute every day to our economy, to our diversity, to our communities. Make no mistake, the voices for reform are loud, clear and not going away.”

Rabbi Jack Moline, Agudas Achim Congregation, Alexandria, VA said, “This is the message we will communicate to Members of Congress during this August recess.  We have not forgotten our families’ paths to citizenship, and neither should you.  Action on immigration reform is not generosity, it is justice.  Clearing the path to citizenship for those who have come seeking the blessings of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the debt we must repay on behalf of those who came before us, whether they came to Plymouth Rock or Galveston, to Ellis Island or Seattle, to San Diego or Charleston.”

An unprecedented field effort, these actions across the country are a vehicle to let Congress know that the immigrant, Latino, and Asian communities who have voted for and mobilized in support of reform for years, along with our allies in labor, business, and faith communities simply won’t take “no” for an answer. Leaders will announce hallmark events in key target districts and release a full list of hundreds of activities to take place during August.

Watch the presser:

Video streaming by Ustream