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When it comes to the lives of immigrants and others who care about fair immigration reforms, the stakes of the 2016 elections could not be higher. The leading GOP candidates are not only insulting immigrants on a daily basis and calling for a massive wall to shut us off from Mexico, but promising the self-deportation or mass deportation of millions of people who have lived here for decades and an end to common sense deferred action policies that are transforming lives.
Today Center for Community Change Action, Latino Victory Project, America’s Voice, and leaders from key electoral states gathered to discuss their collaboration on a new multi-million dollar, immigration-based electoral campaign designed to flex the muscle and power of the pro-immigrant vote.
Working at the national level and in at least three key states—Colorado, Nevada, and Florida—the “Families Fight Back” campaign will collaborate with local groups and activists to register and mobilize voters, define candidates by their immigration positions, and make it clear exactly who stands with immigrants and who stands against them. As part of this effort, CCC Action is also launching the Immigrant Voters Win Super Pac, one of the largest non-candidate PACs ever created, to act as a vehicle to raise the voices of pro-immigrant voters.
“With the rise of Trump and far too many in the GOP rushing to his side, this election could well turn out to be a referendum not only on immigration reform, but on our nation’s core values themselves. Our existence as a diverse, multi-ethnic, cohesive society is on the line. Our commitment to families as a centering value is up for grabs. This election is a true test of the American people and whether we can live up to our finest ideals or capitulate to our worst instincts” said Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director at the Center for Community Change Action.
Cristobal Alex, President of Latino Victory Project added, “Our community is under attack and our priorities are in danger. Donald Trump started his campaign on day one by attacking us and the other candidates have followed him down the hateful, anti-immigrant rabbit hole. We have to show up at the polls and prove that Latinos will not stand for this type of treatment. We need to participate and elect people that will tackle our priorities like immigration reform. The movement is coming together today to fight back.”
Astrid Silva, PLAN Action Nevada said , “We are very aware that every day that our families are on the verge of being separated is a day that we have to fight for them. We need people to register, to vote, to become citizens. We want to make sure that the community understands their power, has access to the tools they need, and know that their responsibility to our country needs to be met.”
“During this election cycle, unfortunately we’ve seen the Republican candidates attempt to use hate and fear to build political power. We are going to win at the state and local level because this moment is a threat, not just to our families, but to our country and we are rising to the occasion. We’ve witnessed a Republican house hijack immigration reform, we’ve seen our Attorney Generals hijack administrative relief, we don’t want to see this Presidential campaign hijack our future. We aren’t going to fight with one hand behind our back anymore, we are going to give it our all” added Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director of Florida Immigrant Coalition.
“The idea that people are going to just take Donald Trump sitting down, is not real. People feel they have a chance to make their voices heard in this election in a way they have not in elections past. While there may be record turnout on the Republican side I have no doubt come November that those numbers will be overwhelmed by Latino, immigrant and Asian turnout across the country. And the groundswell for that is already happening” added Yvanna Cancela, Political Director of Culinary Workers Union Local 226.
Said Lizeth Chacon, Executive Director of Colorado People’s Action, “This is chance to build power not only for the 2016 election, but 2018, 2020 and beyond. We want to elect people who will reflect our values and our priorities and this is what this movement is about—building a stronger future for our community.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice said, “While it’s true Donald Trump has activated the nativist wing of the GOP, he also has very high unfavorables with the Latino community and with the general electorate. To the extent this election is going to be a contest between Trump’s ability to mobilize disaffected white voters and our ability to mobilize Latino, Asian-American and immigrant voters, we think we are in a very good position. The America we represent, both in terms of our values and the majority of Americans that share those values, is likely to conquer nativism that Trump is championing. In short, if it’s Trump’s angry voters vs the people they hate, we like our odds.”
Click HERE for a recording of the call.