If you ascribe to the old saying that "actions speak louder than words," then March 21st, 2010 may become a historic moment. On that day, an estimated 200,000 plus families, students and concerned individuals from Delaware to Oregon participated in the "March for America" in Washington D.C. to remind Congress and President Obama that we're tired of empty promises and want to see action towards immigration reform – and we want to see it now!
With healthcare reform moving to the rearview mirror, HR 4321 CIR ASAP currently in the House, and a framework released by Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Graham (R-SC) that is supported by President Obama, now is the time to build on this momentum for comprehensive immigration reform by letting our members of Congress know we want a humane and sensible solution to our broken system.
What do we want? We want to ensure that migrants who have come to the U.S. seeking livable wages to support their families or to be reunited with their loved ones can do so safely rather than enduring the dangerous and too-often deadly trek through the deserts and mountains of our SW border region.
Here in Washington, we've been hearing for months that two things are necessary for immigration reform to move through Congress: there must be bipartisan support and reform needs to begin in the Senate. That's why it's crucial that our senators hear from us, and we must also encourage our representatives to continue moving forward!
Historically, the border enforcement portion of comprehensive immigration reform has often served as one of the primary bargaining chips to reach across the aisle. We must let our leaders know that we cannot compromise when it comes to fixing our broken border policies.
Let's make militarization of our border – a strategy that pushes migrants towards isolated stretches of the border region through dramatic upticks in border patrol agents and construction of senseless border walls – a thing of the past. Now is the time to meaningfully engage border communities; to develop programs to ensure that the human and civil rights of migrants and border community members are protected; to craft policies that embody our values by recognizing the fundamental dignity of each human life and the basic rights we all share to seek food, water, and shelter. And when those are not provided, we assert our right to show compassionate assistance to migrants and others in need. That's the vision of humanity we believe in and the values we hope to see reflected in our policies at the U.S.-Mexico border and throughout the country.
We will keep you updated as soon as legislation is introduced in the Senate, and we'll be calling on you again to stand with us in support of humane, sensible, and comprehensive immigration reform.
Until then, Adelante!