For Immediate Release
#Not1More: Our Victories and Our Fights Will Continue
Grassroots Groups React to President’s Executive Action on Immigration
WASHINGTON - In reaction to the President’s executive action on immigration, immigrant rights leaders issued the following statements:
Marisa Franco, Lead Organizer of the #Not1More Campaign for NDLON, “If today is defining, it’s is in the breakthrough of directly impacted communities and grassroots organizations to change the conversation, propose new strategies, and show we can win. We took risks, confronted fear and demanded that our leaders do the same. By following suit, President Obama’s decision brings the possibility of shifting course on immigration, and correcting injustices that have held our country back. With this executive action, we must seek to defend it, implement it with expedience and fairness and most importantly seek to expand it more people, and continue to build immigration policy that is inclusive and just.”
Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, “The President’s speech tonight is a testament to the power and determination of migrants who have refused to remain silent in the face of unprecedented hostility, bigotry, and injustice. We will evaluate the new policy on the merits as details are made available, and we will judge its success or failure in the days ahead based on whether it helps or harms those who we know and love.” (Read Alvarado’s full statement here)
Carlos Garcia, Director of Puente Arizona, Phoenix “The President’s decision signals a changing course from the politics of Arizona. Many of our community members who have fought for this change now wonder if they will be excluded and persecuted. Many could now be fast-tracked for deportation, because they have been branded as criminals. We don’t support the arbitrary line between criminalized felons and spared families. Therefore we will work to ensure the President’s order is implemented, as well as continue the fight to expand inclusion to all of our communities.”
Yesenia Valdez, National Organizer for FAMILIA TQLM “As a community, we know that we do not fit the normal definition of families that continue to dominate public discourse. Many LGBTQ undocumented immigrants do not have families that are US citizens or permanent residents that could allow them to qualify for the program. Additionally, we know that our community, especially trans women of color, is unfairly targeted by law enforcement through racial discrimination or for engaging in survival sex work. These daily realities mean that many members of our LGBTQ community will be left out of the president’s plan.”
Erika Andiola, “When my mother was arrested and nearly deported, it was life-shattering for me. The fact that my mother, as well as other Dreamers’ mothers, were not included and it feels bittersweet,” said Erika Andiola, Co-Director of Dream Action Coalition. The community, not the D.C. beltway, fought for this and won this partial victory, but today I feel motivated and more empowered to keep fighting and keep my mother home,”
Southerners On New Ground (SONG) “SONG recognizes that the grassroots organizing of directly impacted people, as well as the work of Not1More Campaign, are the reason for Obama’s actions. Many, many LGBTQ peoples lives will be changed this week because of this, and there will also be many of us who still need relief, and organizing. Politicians and mainstream organizations always try to claim big wins once they come to pass, but tonight who we want to thank most are the hundreds of leaders inside the Not1More deportation campaign who took brave risks to make this win a reality. We are so proud to have been part of this campaign”
Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos, Philadelphia.“While we are overjoyed for the families that this announcement will support and offer them some relief, our hearts also lay heavy with the many people we love in our community who may not qualify. When we declare Not One More Deportation, we mean just that. We make a commitment in Juntos to ensure those in our community who do qualify can apply and for those who don’t, we will continue fighting until our loved ones are released from detention, until young people from Ayotzinapa to Ferguson can feel safe in their communities and until we are all free.“
Adelina Nicholls, Executive Director of GLAHR, Georgia “While President Obama’s executive order is a significant victory, our struggle for a humane, long-term solution to this country’s broken immigration system will continue. We will continue to demand for an end to local law enforcement’s involvement in federal deportation efforts. And we will continue to fight for all of our community members who will not receive relief from the president’s executive order.”
Fernando Lopez, Organizer, New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice, “Today is focused on an announcement but things really started to change the day we said No Papers No Fear! The day that affected people were no longer afraid to speak for themselves and stopped others to speak for us. Today’s announcement is proof that grassroots organizing is how we achieve dignity and integrity in this country.”
Maru Mora Villalpando, Director of Latino Advocacy, Seattle “Northwest Detention Center Resistance came together to be part of the movement forcing the President to change his disastrous course on immigration. We know that whatever advances are announced today are thanks to the efforts of local organizers – like the 1200 immigrant detainees who went on hunger strike this past spring in Tacoma, Washington to bring to light the abuses of detention and deportation. Our fight is not over, and our efforts will continue to be guided by those most impacted – the immigrants left out of the newly announced protections.”
Angelica Chazaro, #Not1More Blue Ribbon Commission member, Seattle “I am disturbed by reports that the President will continue to draw lines between deserving and undeserving immigrants that our movement long ago rejected. I am concerned that the President’s announcement will focus ICE’s devastating power on the members of our community that we refuse to leave behind – immigrants without children, LGBTQ immigrants, and the young immigrant men of color most likely to be targeted for arrests and convictions that will disqualify them for relief. Our idea of justice rejects using detention and deportation as a punishment for those who have been caught up in the criminal system. And we will continue to fight”
Rosi Carrasco, Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD), Chicago “Couragenous families who have waged an intense effort just to win the right to live and work in this country alongside our children and loved ones. We’ve opened new possibilities that no one believed we had the potential to achieve. We know we have equal rights and we will not allow anyone to divide us so that we all can live and work with justice and dignity.”
Edna Monroy, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, “We stand here today as the result of the community’s sweat, tears and courage to demand not1more deportation. We fought on the ground for over a year and a half, while Obama continued to deny his executive power to take action. Now, we have to have each others back, and continue fighting against systematic oppression. Our battle is much bigger than simply getting “papers.” We’re fighting for justice, dignity, and our human rights!”
Jose Luis Piscil, Unidad Latina en Acción, Connecticut, “I am happy because I will hopefully benefit from this relief and be able to stay with my children and my wife. I am cautious because I could be deported any day now while I appeal the deportation order and sue Department of Homeland Security. If I lose my appeal, I will keep fighting, and I will keep fighting for all 11 million who deserve equal rights.”
Jorge Torres, Unidad Latina en Acción, New Jersey, “This partial victory is a step that should give us confidence of the power we have when we lose our fear. Today, the language our communities speak will be different. Our tongues will carry words of justice and human dignity. After today, I hope that elected officials and all leaders will learn to listen to the voices of directly affected people and guide their efforts based on the courage our community has shown.”
Additional statements from immigrant rights leaders are available at http://ndlon.org/pressroom.
For a list of watch events, rallies, and protests, visit: http://www.notonemoredeportation.com/preparing-for-action-chant-down-walls/
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