ICIRR LAUDS IMMIGRATION FOCUS IN STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER ESCALATED ENFORCEMENT

February 12, 2013

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

ICIRR LAUDS IMMIGRATION FOCUS IN STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER ESCALATED ENFORCEMENT


The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is pleased that in his State of the Union Address this evening, President Barack Obama continues to make immigration reform a top priority of his legislative agenda this year.   ICIRR renews its call that any final immigration legislation must include a path to full citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US.  No citizenship, no deal.

ICIRR remains deeply concerned that the White House and the Senate “Gang of 8” both focus excessively on further increases in border enforcement. At a time when unauthorized migration has dropped sharply and spending on immigration enforcement dwarfs the budgets of all other federal law enforcement, we question whether still more enforcement is needed—and whether a path to citizenship should be linked to such an escalation.

Democrats and Republicans need to work together to enact real solutions to fix our immigration system. If the United States is to continue to grow and prosper we need to find solutions that fulfill our basic values of keeping families together.

“We ask the President and members of Congress to keep in mind that they are dealing with the lives of 11 million people who are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sisters and brothers,” said Lawrence Benito, ICIRR’s CEO.  “People like Mayra Sarabia, an undocumented single mom who works to support her three U.S. born children.  Her only wish is to see them attend college and live the American dream. We can’t play politics or compromise when human lives are at stake.”  

ICIRR, along with our national partner, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, will be participating in the national Keeping Families Together Campaign this spring to mobilize support to pass immigration reform.  The Keeping Families Together campaign unites immigrant activists, advocates, champions, and, most importantly, immigrant families themselves in a demand for a path to citizenship for undocumented. The campaign will focus on mass mobilizations across the country and lifting the veil on the moral crisis of family separation. We plan to raise immigrant voices to talk to members of Congress and other elected leaders to win their support for the comprehensive approach that the Senators and President Obama have started. 

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. For more information, visit www.icirr.org. 

 

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