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Reps. Gutiérrez and Fudge urge immigration reform

By Arooj Ashraf, La Prensa Correspondent

United States Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D- OH, 11th District) met with 250 members of the Latino and African-American communities at Mt. Sinai Church on Oct. 11, 2010.

U.S. Reps. Luis Gutiérrez and Marcia L. Fudge urge immigration reform at Mt. Sinai Church.

Gutiérrez said the Latino community needs to find allies in its fight for immigration reform and hold Republicans, who blocked discussion on the DREAM Act, accountable.  He said Pres. Barack Obama won the election by campaigning on immigration reform and was able to attract two million Latino voters. “If he wants to win re-election, he will have to do something,” Gutiérrez said.  

Comprehensive Immigration Reform has little chance of being brought up this year, but he is hopeful the DREAM Act will be discussed during lame duck sessions after the Nov. 2 elections. “Fifty-seven Democrats stood up and voted in favor of the DREAM Act, not a single Republican did.”

Questioned by an audience member on why the DREAM Act has not been introduced as a stand-alone bill, Gutiérrez said it would be a tragedy if only a portion of those undocumented can be helped. He added activists should thank allies in Congress for their efforts and speak out clearly and loudly at Republican rallies too.  “Go to Senator Voinovich’s office and bring the same anger, passion and energy that you are displaying here.”

Rubén Castilla Herrera, Ohio Director of Reform Immigration for America said the rift between supporters of the DREAM Act and CIR needs to be addressed. “Many dreamers are upset; they are tired of waiting and want something done now,” said Herrera.

Gutiérrez said if CIR does not pass, the goal and strategy should be changed to immediately stop deportations and grant the 11 million currently in the country Temporary Protective Status until complete reform can be undertaken.

He said four million U.S. born children should not have to live in constant fear of being separated from their parents. Opponents of immigration reform want the movement to be tired and flatter, said Gutiérrez, “It isn’t an option for you; as long as 1,100 people are deported every day, children lose their Mom or Dad, families are destroyed.”

Fudge said the community should maintain enthusiasm for immigration reform, “Stay the course, do not be discouraged.” She said the rally being organized on Columbus Day [observed] was not coincidence, “When Columbus accidently landed here he started immigration that is unstoppable.” She said immigration reform is the Civil Rights movement of this era.

Herrera said hosting the event at Mt. Sinai is a great proactive step in building partnerships between Latinos and the African-American community; “Hispanics must support them in causes important to their community as well.”

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Copyright © 2010 by [LaPrensa Newspaper]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/26/14 20:18:34 -0800.





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