NO MORE EXCUSES ! NO MORE DELAYS !
We are gathered today to celebrate and to prepare to mobilize our families and our communities once again to fix our broken immigration law. The introduction today of a bill into the Congress by over 91 members, including every member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is a long sought after victory. Our journey has taken us through the marches, the elections and a year long campaign of witness by families facing separation to bring the White House and the Congress to the agreement to again begin consideration of immigration reform.
We are convinced that the moral and spiritual witness of the millions of families facing separation has been and continues to be the strongest argument for a just and comprehensive immigration reform and we are enthusiastic that the current legislation, introduced today, deal fairly and deliberately with that terrible reality.
Ultimately a nation that turns its back on the values of faith and family is a nation that dooms itself to self-destruction. We will continue to put the witness of hardworking people who ask only for the right to work hard and raise their families in the ways of the Lord. These families did not create the system of undocumented labor, the agreements of trade and finance that sent workers to the north to feed their families, the employers that knowingly accepted their labor, the government that knowingly accepted their taxes. These families only did what was necessary to survive within this broken system and it would be hypocritical and sinful to continue the vicious attack on the families that were formed here and the children that were born here.
The legislation introduced today insures the security of this nation and fortifies its economy. During their first year in power, President Obama and the Democratic leadership of the Congress broke their promise. Not only was immigration reform not passed in the Congress but the number of deportations, separation of families and persecutions at our places of work increased. There is no excuse for President Obama and the Democratic Leadership of the Congress to delay any longer in delivering the comprehensive immigration reform that they promised – a promise to the Latino community that put them in their current positions.
We have come this far because we were unified and because we mobilized. We have come this far because the families themselves stood up and called on every sector of our community to stand with them. The unity of the Latino Representatives in Washington, demonstrated in the new bill, is a testimony to that unified response. The Democratic Party must be shown clearly that if they do not deliver on their promise they will not be welcome in the Latino community.
Between now and January 20th we are organizing “sign-up campaigns” in every city across the country. Churches and organizations must open their doors and give members of our community the opportunity to come in and sign up for the campaign to pass the law. By participating in the sign-up campaign our churches and organizations are giving our people a way to determine their own destiny. They should not be denied this right !
We are mindful, and we ask others to be mindful, that this may well be our last chance to stop the separation of families during this administration. We must be unified and we must be strong.