Friday, March 12, 2010

Immigrant Advocates Win Movement from White House

Push Obama to Announce Hard Deadline for Senate Bill Outline

From the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights website:

Today, March 11, 2010, a group of 13 leaders from national and grassroots immigrant advocacy organizations, labor unions, and clergy met for 1 hour and 15 minutes with President Barack Obama and top advisors Melody Barnes and Valery Jarrett to discuss immigration reform.

Participants asked President Obama to work with Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to present a framework for a comprehensive reform of immigration prior to the March for America on March 21. The leaders also asked for an end to deportations.

ICIRR Executive Director Joshua Hoyt handed out the written testimonies of the Chicago youth who “came out” as undocumented yesterday during the Immigrant Youth Justice League “Come Out of the Shadows” march and rally in downtown Chicago, sending a strong message from those who are directly affected by our broken immigration system.

The President re-stated his commitment to passing comprehensive immigration reform and expressed exasperation that there was not enough Republican support. He agreed to work actively to get bi-partisan support and to announce an outline for a Senate immigration bill prior to the march. He also agreed to focus deportations on criminals and to examine those deportations that are affecting people who are not criminals at a follow-up meeting with Janet Napolitano. The President asked for our help to deliver Republican support for immigration reform.

It is clear that the march is forcing the President and the political leaders to focus on immigration reform. We encourage everyone to come to Washington D.C. on March 21st to keep the pressure up--and we will judge the President by whether his actions follow his words.

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