Jan 30, 2014
It's been a big week for the immigration reform movement.
During his State of the Union address, President Obama urged Congress to "fix our broken immigration system."
"Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades," he said. "And for good reason: When people come here to fulfill their dreams -- to study, invent and contribute to our culture -- they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone."
Just across the room, Cristian Avila, a Dreamer who participated in a nearly 22-day "Fast for Families," was listening to the president from the first lady's box during the speech. CWA President Larry Cohen had joined Avila and other immigration activists in fasting on the National Mall last year to pressure House Speaker John Boehner to call a vote on immigration legislation.
Today, House Republicans are expected to unveil their "statement of principles" on immigration reform. Only when GOP lawmakers introduce real legislative solutions will we know they are serious about reform.
Meanwhile we're raising our voices. Fast for Families announced on Monday that it would be launching a bus tour to visit 50 congressional districts across the country. They'll be giving speeches, visiting the district offices of members of Congress and engaging more communities.
And when "La Santa Cecilia," an alternative rock group who performed during October's historic immigration rally on the Mall, took home a Grammy for "Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album," they dedicated their win to the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. (Listen to their song song "El Hielo," referring to I.C.E. here.)
CWA activists will continue to partner with our allies across the country to raise awareness about the need for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. A few weeks ago, activists greeted Boehner and Rep. Joe Heck as they made their way to a Las Vegas fundraiser. Not long afterward, the United Farm Workers, Kern County Coalition and other allies showed up at Boehner's press conference in Bakersfield, Calif., to remind him that we are not going away.