Tag Archives: october 13th

Game on: Why yesterday was important in the fight for reform

I am exhausted today. Yesterday was a whirlwind of marching, lobbying, writing, tweeting, picture taking, interviewing, chanting and more marching. But it was more than worth it.

I was standing side-by-side with more than 8,000 people (according to National Mall staff) as we marched to the front door of Congress to demand comprehensive immigration reform. Before the event, over 900 of those people talked directly to their members of Congress about supporting immigration reform and specific pieces of legislation such as the DREAM Act and AgJobs.

This number doesn’t even cover the more than 20,000 calls and faxes into Congress that were made by people across the country, as a part of yesterday’s action for reform. We showed power yesterday, both in DC and across the country.

The day culminated in Representative Luis Gutierrez, champion of immigration reform, introducing core principles for a progressive immigration reform bill, which he has promised to formally introduce later this year. Rep. Gutierrez said:

We simply cannot wait any longer for a bill that keeps our families together, protects our workers and allows a pathway to legalization for those who have earned it. It is time we had a workable plan making its way through Congress that recognizes the vast contributions of immigrants to this country and that honors the American Dream.

The event has garnered much media attention, though it was drowned out yesterday by the continuing health care debate.

Says Marisa Trevino of Latina Lista:

If you didn’t hear about the rally, it’s not surprising. It didn’t take place until late afternoon – after the passage of the health reform bill but news outlets are slowly getting around to writing about it.

And they should be because this wasn’t the usual caravan-to-Washingon-and-demand-immigration reform rally. This rally was different in that it served as the platform where Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, attempted to jumpstart the immigration debate by unveiling the “core principles” he wants seen included in any immigration reform bill.

She’s right: this wasn’t a typical march to the Capitol to call for immigration reform. There was substance and passion and true momentum behind yesterday’s event.

There are two big things that I am taking away from yesterday:

Number one, the fight for immigration reform has officially started.

Number two, we haven’t even begun to tap the potential support for a pro-migrant progressive bill. The fact that thousands of out-of-town people turned out in person, drove hundreds of miles, fund raised and even missed work to be at a pro-immigrant event where the main draw was only principles of a potential bill, sends a very clear message: we are ready for this fight.

That is not to say this won’t get ugly. I never underestimate the nativist lobby’s ability to stoop lower and lower in their demonization of immigrants and of our movement. But, the true power and the true majority is with us.

For a more about yesterday and full slideshow of photos, visit the Reform Immigration FOR America Blog.

Family Unity: Bringing it to the Capitol.

Thousands call for immigration reform on the West Lawn of the Capitol.

Thousands call for immigration reform on the West Lawn of the Capitol.

This is cross-posted from the Reform Immigration FOR America blog. I will have some more thoughts tomorrow, but for now, I’m too tired for further analysis. You guys understand, right?

I just came from the event on the West Lawn of the Capitol and let me start by saying we brought some serious fire power to the doorstep of Congress today. I’m eager to hear an official count of folks there, but it was a large crowd. The energy was high and people were poised and ready for action. It was clear: we are sending a message to Congress and they must listen.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to stay for the full event – I was trying to live-tweet but getting less-than-stellar service on the West Lawn. A few quotes from the elected officals are below, courtesy of NAKSEC’s twitter account:

From Rep. Luis Gutierrez: it’s been a long journey. gutierrez said too many good things. he just did a shout out to community organizers

From Rep. Nydia Velazquez: this is not going to be easy. i know together we’ll get to the finish line

From Sen. Bob Menendez: moral and economic imperative to realize immigration reform. today we see family values

From Rep. Jared Polis (in Spanish): “un mejor futuro para todos los americanos.” (“A better future for all Americans!)

I will be posting all my pictures from the event soon. And will be keeping you informed of any new updates. In the mean time, check out the New York Times article that just dropped about today:

Thousands of immigrants came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a day of lobbying and an afternoon rally calling for comprehensive immigration reform.

Tuesday’s event was sponsored by various immigrant advocacy groups, including the Reform Immigration For America campaign, the National Capital Immigration Coalition, and Families United/Familias Unidas. It attracted convoys of buses, vans and cars carrying more than 3,000 protesters from at least 17 states.

Also, we are featured on the front page of the C-Span at the moment, with the promise of video footage to come!

Today has been a huge success and we are still going! Stay tuned for pictures and more updates!

Family Unity: Now is the time!

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.

October 13th National Day of Action: 6 ways to help!

oct 13th

Cross-posted from the Reform Immigration FOR America blog:

Tuesday, October 13th is a big day in the fight for immigration reform. Thousands of community leaders will be gathering in Washington, DC to speak face-to-face with members of Congress, asking for their support of comprehensive immigration reform.After hitting the halls of Congress, their will be a vigil on the West Lawn of the Capitol, calling for family unity.

oct 13th map

Can’t be in Washington, DC on October 13th? No problem, here are 6 easy ways to join in the action that day:

  1. Find an event in your area. Click on the map above to find a local event on October 13th.
  2. Call your Representative. With just one click, you can call your Rep. and ask them to support immigration reform. To call – click here.
  3. Send a fax. Tell members of Congress that you want immigration reform now. It only takes a minute. Click here to fax.
  4. Upload our badge. If you have a website or blog, upload our badge onto your site. Simply copy and paste the code we provide for you here.
  5. Share on Facebook. On October 13th, help us spread the word by telling your friends. Click here to share on Facebook.
  6. Tweet it! On Twitter? Help spread the word to the Twitterverse. Please re-tweet the following and use the #famunity hashtag when you talk about the action “RT @RI4A Join thousands of people across the country demanding #immigration reform today! http://bit.ly/uUKx3 #ri4a #famunity”

Help us send a resounding message to Congress that immigration reform can’t wait! For more information, visit our action page here.