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TODAY: More than 1,000 Pro-Immigration Activists Shut Down 100+ Congressional Offices with Simultaneous Vigils

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Advocacy groups say 2013 activities set stage for even more hard-hitting activism next year with increased voter outreach in key congressional districts, while at same time, call for an end to deportations by Pres. Obama

Washington, DC—Today, immigration reform activists stopped business activity in a majority of House Republican offices to mark Speaker John Boehner’s and House Republicans’ failure this year to fix our broken immigration system.

“In a year when the pro-immigration reform movement made so many gains, our families and our communities continue to live in fear because of the immigration crisis in this country,” said Gustavo Torres, President of CASA in Action. “More than 1,100 immigrations are deported EACH DAY, tearing apart families and communities. That’s why thousands of activists are at the Capitol today to remind our elected officials of the toll this crisis has on our families.”

The pro-immigration reform movement has united the broadest, most diverse coalition in its history. Although 3 out of 4 Americans want Congress to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship, Speaker John Boehner and the House Republican Leadership are using stalling tactics and excuses to block reform from getting a vote on the House floor.

Arriving from area congregations, schools, and union halls, from the mountains of North Carolina and the boroughs of New York, activists arrived in droves to send a stark message to Speaker Boehner and the Republican Caucus: “The Longer You Delay, the Stronger We Become.”

Throughout 2013, activism and demand for an end to the immigration crisis reached a new high, where activists and ally groups ramped up activities and built up unprecedented support for reform. This Thursday, Congress will leave Washington, DC without addressing our immigration crisis. “Congress may be going home for the holidays, but our movement will continue to work, to fight and to keep engaging more people in this fight at the grassroots level,” said Eddie Carmona, Campaign Director for PICO National Network’s Campaign for Citizenship. “We end the year with a renewed sense of energy and passion. Led by our values rooted in the faith community, we know we will win and that we are on the right side of history. It’s time for Congress to act now for our families and to demonstrate their moral fiber.”

“The AFL-CIO has been a staunch supporter of the immigration reform movement,” said Tefere Gebre, the International Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO. “In 2014, our broad, diverse coalition will continue this fight until we end deportations and bring 11 million people out of the shadows.”

Groups participating today in an event that organizers identified as the largest mass simultaneous vigil in the Capitol’s history, included:

·       Action NC

·       AFL-CIO

·       Alliance for Citizenship

·       All Souls Church Justice Ministries

·       America’s Voice

·       Bread for the World

·       CASA in Action

·       Campaign for Community Change

·       Center for Popular Democracy

·       Church World Service

·       Communications Workers of America

·       Disciples of Christ Refugee & Immigration Ministries

·       Fair Immigration Reform Movement

·       Fuerza y Libertad

·       Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

·       Just Neighbors

·       The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

·       Maryland Working Families

·       Mi Familia Vota

·       National Congress of Black Women

·       National Coalition of La Raza

·       National Immigration Law Center

·       National Korean American Service & Education Consortium

·       NETWORK Lobby

·       New York Immigration Coalition

·       North Carolina Latino Coalition

·       Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

·       PICO National Network

·       Service Employees International Union

·       32BJ SEIU

·       St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church

·       The State Employees Association of North Carolina SEIU Local 2008

·       United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

·       United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400

·       US Action

·       Virginia Organizing

·       We Belong Together