CHIRLA's statement on Thanksgiving Day:
“Today we give thanks for the many blessings our nation’s forefathers received when they first set foot in North America. We give thanks for the opportunities open to waves of immigrants thereafter, including freedom to practice cultural and religious customs without persecution, and the incentives to contribute to one's community by starting up new businesses. And, we give thanks for the joy that has always represented having loved ones be together as one family for dinner, prayer, volunteerism, or casting of a vote.
The experience of millions of immigrants living and contributing to a United States of America in the 21st century is rooted in the basic principle that home is where the heart abounds with hope, dreams, aspirations, and honor; the same core belief of immigrants of yore. What drove immigrant families from Europe to America more than five centuries ago, still drives immigrant families of today and tomorrow. It requires a brave heart and a strong spirit, after all, to leave everything behind and start anew.
On the most festive of family gatherings, we call on Americans to extend your hand to today’s Pilgrims and work towards reaching a national consensus on immigration reform. Elected officials of all political persuasions have a clear opportunity in 2013 to bestow upon today's culturally-rich America the greatest of gifts: the opportunity to reconcile with history, our family values, and our indefatigable conviction that we are one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all."