Press Clippings

For Immediate Release
Friday, June 29, 2007

STATEMENT BY LATINO LEADERS ON COLLAPSE OF S. 1639

We are disappointed that our federal government has continuously failed to enact appropriate legislation to fix our broken immigration system and address the needs of our immigrant community and nation.

However, the Senate immigration bill that collapsed yesterday was not the answer to our nation's serious immigration challenges. S. 1639 as written would not have effectively legalized the undocumented, increased our national security, united immigrant families, nor practically provided the immigrant labor force needed for future economic growth in America.

There will be a lot of discussion in the next few days over the reasons why the bill failed. We will leave that analysis to others. For us it was clear that S1639, the "comprehensive immigration reform" of President Bush and the bipartisan "Grand Bargain" sponsors had conceded far too much substantively to anti-immigrant forces bent on punishing immigrants and closing our borders.

We believe in policies that welcome immigrants, treat them decently and give them the opportunity to integrate into the American culture, democratic process and socio-economic mainstream. We believe all Americans benefit from such policies.

To ensure that our immigration laws are in tune with our national interests, we must enact reform that embraces family unity, provides a prompt and unfettered path to citizenship for our current undocumented population, and protects the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans while protecting our national interests. We want to acknowledge and recognize the efforts of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) for continuously championing these principles on behalf of our community in the Senate.

We call upon the President to immediately order a temporary moratorium on the short-sided and inhumane immigration raids that continue to victimize the most vulnerable. It is unconscionable that there are thousands of children being held indefinitely in the cold and dark confines of a detention facility because our immigration system is broken. It is unconscionable that thousands of families have been ripped apart and forced to endure inhumane conditions at the hands of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Over the next few days we will be calling on our federal legislators to immediately begin taking steps on the road to creating a fair and just immigration construct by passing legislation and concepts that enjoy strong bi-partisan support, like Ag Jobs and the DREAM Act in 2007. We look forward to working with the legislature in developing true reform on immigration that is just, fair, reasonable, and workable.

Most Sincerely,

Hispanic Federation
Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez - President
55 Exchange Place, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10005

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Dr. Gabriela D. Lemus - Executive Director
815 16th Street, N.W., 4th floor
Washington, DC 20006

National Alliance of Latin American
& Caribbean Communities
Oscar A. Chacón - Executive Director
1628 S. Blue Island Avenue
Chicago, IL 60608

William C. Velasquez Institute
Antonio González - President
California Office
2914 N. Main Street, 1st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90031

 

 

 
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