Latino elected officials, pastors and community leaders joined together to dedicate the 15th annual Three Kings parade to the struggle to stop the separation of families and pass immigration reform. At the gathering point of the procession, in La Iglesia Rebano, elected officials and candidates, some running against each other in the upcoming primary, joined together in unity to send a strong message to President Obama and U.S. Senate whip Richard Durbin (il) that”the promise must be kept in the next 100 days.” Pastor Freddy Santiago powerfully drew the parallels to the persecution of Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus to the persecution of Latino and immigrant families in our community. “This nation must choose to be with Herod or choose to be with the Holy Family.” (Below is the letter signed by over 50 Latino electee officials and pastors.)
To: The Honorable Richard Durbin
United States Senator
Dear Senator Durbin,
Today, the Day of the Three Kings, we the undersigned Latino elected officials of Illinois, joined by pastors and priests from our community, do stand with millions of families in our communities and our churches suffering from our broken immigration law.
We write because our community is demanding that promises be kept.
We have waited for one long year for the promised immigration reform, during the time when the Democratic President and Democratic Leadership in the House and Senate were at the height of their political influence. We waited in vain. The deportations and separations of families actually increased this year.
We take note that a bill for comprehensive immigration reform has been introduced into the House by Congressman Gutierrez and the entire Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The unity of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus symbolizes accurately the unified commitment of the entire Latino community to achieve comprehensive immigration reform in the next 100 days. Our community will accept nothing less.
Senator Durbin, the Democratic Party will be coming back to our community in a few short months to elect another democrat to the U.S. senate and protect the all important 60th vote. We want to make it perfectly clear that, if the Senate democratic leadership fails to deliver comprehensive immigration reform, our community will lack the necessary enthusiasm to do what they will be asked to do.
It is time to keep the promise to our community.