Leaders from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights start the trek to Washington, DC to join in the day of action for Family Unity.
Today is the day we have all been waiting and preparing for. Today, thousands of leaders and advocates from across the country are uniting in Washington, DC to call on their members of Congress to support comprehensive immigration reform. Today, we are saying enough is enough. Today we are demanding that families not be torn apart. Today we are saying “ya basta” for our communities.
I am on my way to the Church of the Reformation, where advocates will be gathering before they hit the halls of Congress to speak directly to their Representatives. I will be live-blogging today’s events, so be sure to stay tuned for more at the Reform Immigration FOR America blog.
Also, if you’re on Twitter, follow us at @RI4A or use the #famunity hashtag if you’re tweeting about today’s events.
If you can’t be in Washington, or any of the more than 3 dozen local events happening across the country, click here to find out 6 ways to be a part of today’s action.
Angelicas Salas, executive director of FIRM member-group the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, and Artemio Arreola, state director for the Reform Immigration for America campaign in Illinois and Political Director for FIRM member, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, are both being honored for their outstanding work. The Tides Foundation has awarded them both with the Jane Bagley Lehnman Award for Excellence In Public Advocacy. The recognition goes to activists dedicated to advancing immigration reform.
Says Marissa Graciosa, director of FIRM, of Salas:
There is no truer voice for our communities than Angelica Salas. She has worked tirelessly represent each and everyone of us that are affected by this issue. Her dedication shows in her involvement in everything from advanced legislative strategy to her ability to listen to community members meeting in a local church basement. Angelica is truly a hero of our movement.
And, Artemio Arreola, what can I say? The million person march in Chicago in 2006 would not have happened without him. He represents the best of what it means to be a leader in your community.
FIRM could not be prouder of these two deserving and dedicated activists who will continue to work until we pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Congratulations Angelica and Artemio!
Congratulations to our partners at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugees Rights (ICIRR)! They have successfully registered 25,815 people in the immigrant community to vote. That is an astounding number!
Thanks to the work of organizations like ICIRR, the immigrant vote will be counted in record numbers during the upcoming election.
ICIRR and its’ member organizations announced success today in registering 25,815 voter registrations in the immigrant community through the New Americans Democracy Project “Our Vote is Power” campaign. The next step is to “Get-Out-The-Vote” (GOTV) through an unprecedented effort that includes direct contact with over 144,000 immigrant voters through a combination of door-knocking, direct mailers, door-hangers, live and robo-calls. The New Americans Democracy Project has raised over $1 million for their voter registration and GOTV efforts.
ICIRR’s New Americans Democracy Project (NADP) “Our Vote is Power” campaign aims to build support of elected officials for immigrants to win a fair and humane immigration reform. With 20 campaign fellows (full time immigrant field organizers) a total of 2,565 Election Day volunteers will work in 694 precincts and target over 144,000 immigrant voters to bring to the polls on Election Day.
Our government’s current “enforcement only” policy towards immigration continues detain and deport immigrants across the country. The system used in this policy, however, is extremely secretive. Practices include: blacking out windows on buses transporting immigrants, denying due process during legal proceedings and forbidding families from contact with their detained loved ones. In short, the system is ripe for widespread abuse.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) has released a video called “A Hidden System”. Our immigration policy is broken and people are suffering abuse and injustice as a result.