WHAT: “The Time is Now” Thanksgiving Day and Hanukkah celebration and immigration reform support rally and street march
For Immediate Release: Monday, November 25, 2013
Bakersfield, CA – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) announced it will co-sponsor a breakfast with Central California business leaders in support of immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. The business breakfast is hosted by Bakersfield Congressman David Valadao (R-CA) on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 9:45 a.m. and followed by press conference with business leaders and Mr. Valadao.
As President Obama makes a strong pitch in California for immigration reform, leaders in California such as Mr. Valadao have been working with their party’s leadership and across the aisle to ensure they bring forth a real and permanent solution to our cruel and broken immigration system. Meetings with diverse coalitions who have a stake on what happens with immigration reform and how it impacts California are part of Mr. Valadao’s efforts to continue the dialogue in house and in Washington, DC.
WHAT: Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) hosts breakfast and press event with Central California businesses that are working to pass immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship that meets our diverse state’s 21st century needs.
WHEN: Tuesday, November 26, 2013
WHERE: Perko’s Café, 2343 Girard St., Delano, CA 93215
WHO: Rep. David Valadao (CA-21st), Central California business leaders in support of immigration reform, CHIRLA, and other community leaders.
COALITION FOR HUMANE IMMIGRANT RIGHTS OF LOS ANGELES
For Immediate Release: October 24, 2013
Nation Wins if House Passes Immigration Reform
Since the November 2012 election, Americans have clearly stated their expectation Congress must address the broken immigration system. President Obama is right to call on the House to heed the people’s call and pass immigration reform without further delay. Action is a win-win for all, said the President Thursday.
Los Angeles, CA – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) added its voice of support to President Obama’s message Thursday that the U.S. House of Representatives must pass immigration reform without delay. The President, flanked by Vice-President Biden and leaders from various sectors including business, faith, labor, and immigrant rights organizations, reminded Congress the current sytem of immigration laws is broken and a solution is at hand and needs a vote. Politics, said the President, should not be the prism used to approach the issue, but rather the good of the country.
The following is a statement for Angelica Salas, executive director for CHIRLA:
“Today, President Obama underscored the urgent need to fix a broken and cruel immigration system and urged the House of Representatives to move without delay on a comprehensive reform package that will help usher a new era of opportunity and integration for millions of undocumented immigrant workers who live in the U.S.
What the President said today should not be news to this Congress. No sooner had the polls closed November 6, 2012 that a clear voter mandate emerged for Congress to overhaul our nation’s broken and cruel immigration system. Since then, poll after poll reveals an American public ready to forego candidates and agendas that seek to criminalize and ostracize undocumented immigrant workers, opting instead for a measured and smart approach to legalization with a pathway to earned citizenship. The proverbial pendulum on immigration reform shifted long ago and those who can see, have seen it, and those who can hear, have heard it.
A minority in the House of Representatives, led by dinosaurs who refuse to accept the world around them is changing, has so far held immigration reform hostage, assisted by none other than House Speaker Boehner and Majority Whip McCarthy. This people’s House has eyes but cannot see and ears but cannot hear, and unless its Republican and Democrat leadership reverses course and moves immigration reform forward, it risks not snatching victory from the jaws of embarrassing defeat after embarrassing defeat.
President Obama is correct to point out that anyone still opposed to a reasonable solution to the immigration system quagmire should be dragged to every town’s center plaza and compelled to clearly explain his/her reasons. Other than political shananigans, obtuse vision, and stubborness, there is no rationale for House leaders to delay action on immigration reform with a path to citizenship. The required 218 votes to pass legislation have been there since the August recess. What we are missing is leaders who can step aside from the shadows of power, see with eyes of compassion and humanity, and hear when justice calls on them to do the right thing.
As President Obama reiterated Thursday, this can has been kicked down the road for far too long. During the next two weeks, our community will be present anywhere the House leadership goes to remind them our nation needs them to get immigration reform done without delay.”
National survey highlights detrimental impact of current broken immigration laws on millions of U.S.-born children. A California Supplement offers insight into how fear of deportation impacts millions.
Los Angeles – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) praised a report issued by Human Impact Partners entitled “Family Unity, Family Health: How Family-Focused Immigration Reform Will Mean Better Health for Children and Families,” (FUFH) which details how the well-being and safety of children whose parents are undocumented is fraught with fear, anxiety, and other harms. CHIRLA was a core research partner and Advisory Committee member for the FUFH. California Supplement explores the devastating effect the fear of deportation has on mixed status families, especially on US-born children. The following are statements from:
Angelica Salas, Executive Director for CHIRLA.
“The voice of more than 4.5 million US-born children who live in families where one or more of their parents is undocumented has finally been captured by this much needed survey. The findings in the FUFH survey will certainly tug at the heart and should press Congress to move immigration reform legislation without delay.
Not only will our children’s health be poorer if the threat of deportations continues unabated, schools will experience more children with behavioral problems, graduation rates and other educational outcomes will suffer, overall health and life span of adults in a mixed status family will decrease, poverty will increase, and we can expect more children with diminished access to food.
This reality should make every American recoil in disgust because the solution for many of the conditions highlighted in the report is achievable through a bipartisan approach to immigration reform with a path to citizenship. The question is, what is Congress waiting to act?”
Joseph Villela, CHIRLA Director of Policy
“It is absurd that 81% of California’s children who live in a household with one undocumented parent suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder because the threat of deportation of their loved is ever present. This is not the American Dream for millions, it is the worst nightmare with no end.
The FUFH survey reflects the need to pass comprehensive immigration reform not only for the benefit of the 11 million undocumented workers living in the U.S. but a healthier, prosperous, strong nation.
CHIRLA members who participated in the survey reflect the urgency to find long-term solutions to our broken immigration system. The health and well-being benefits for our communities, our children, and our future far outweigh partisanship, anti-immigrant sentiments, and racism which currently prevents laws to be just and fair. We trust the survey’s impact will be long felt if legislators in Sacramento and Washington, DC take its recommendations seriously. It is not enough to say we value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We must do something to foster a sense of safety for millions of children in America.”
The HIP FUFH report: www.familyunityfamilyhealth.org The California Supplement: http://www.humanimpact.org/component/jdownloads/finish/7/305
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On Wednesday the California Dream Network released a statement referencing the nomination of former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to head UC system:
"The largest undocumented immigrant student organization in the United States, the California Dream Network, a project of CHIRLA, welcomes the nomination of the first woman to head the prestigious University of California system. If confirmed, Ms. Janet Napolitano can expect to hear from and work alongside strong immigrant student organizations who know her well from her previous roles as Arizona’s governor and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.
Under her leadership as DHS Secretary, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was responsible for 1.5 million deportations, the most ever under any Administration, causing pain, disenfranchisement, and turmoil to countless students and their families. Although acknowledging our nation’s immigrations laws are broken, Secretary Napolitano could have championed a more humane and compassionate enforcement of the laws, but other than the Deferred Action program, she failed to do so. Instead, programs such as the 287(g) agreements and the ill-named “Secure Communities” proliferated under her watch.
We trust Ms. Napolitano recognizes California is one of the most immigrant-friendly states in the nation. As the leader of the most diverse student body in the nation, we expect her to use the bully pulpit to strongly protect the rights of every student regardless of immigration status and to advocate for increased financial support opportunities for children of working class families, especially AB540 students. Similarly, we expect Ms. Napolitano to take a firmer stand to stop the criminalization of undocumented working families, end deportations, and win passage of immigration reform with a path to citizenship for dreamers and their families.
Californians know Ms. Napolitano well, but now, for the benefit of our collective success, we give ourselves the opportunity to have her get to know us. The great challenges and opportunities that face the UC System will require a leader with creativity, compassion, determination, and vision. It is clear that Ms. Napolitano is a leader who cherishes public service. The CDN looks forward to assisting her in excelling at it.”
CHIRLA Selected to Receive Grant to Conduct Health Benefit Exchange Outreach and Education to Californians
The California Healthy New Americans Initiative will reach uninsured Latinos and college students
Los Angeles –The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) announced Tuesday it has been selected by Covered California, an independent body in the state government charged to help individuals compare and choose a health plan that works best for their health needs and budget, to reach out to uninsured Latinos and college students in California in time for the onset of the Affordable Healthcare Act in 2014.
The following is a statement for Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a California non-profit organization that exists to promote and defend the rights and advancement of immigrants in a just society.
“We are honored and proud to have been selected by Covered California to conduct outreach and education activities with underserved Latinos and college students in the Golden State. This is a historic effort to ensure millions of Californians understand and enroll in the Affordable Healthcare Act before March 2014.
For more than 25 years CHIRLA has advocated for and served Latinos and immigrant families. The community we serve faces significant challenges and we have little time to make sure we reach as many who need affordable health care. But let there be no doubt that CHIRLA and the vast network of health care evangelists funded under this initiative will roll up our sleeves and hit the road running.
Today is a good day for Californians, especially millions of underserved families who work hard but remain uninsured. CHIRLA, through its California Healthy New Americans Initiative, is excited to join hands with Covered California to start a new chapter in health care accessibility for California’s most valuable asset. Here’s to everyone’s health!”
“Step Out to End Life in the Shadows”
CHIRLA appeals to Americans to mark May Day as a national day of action for immigration reform. Media organizations called on to do their part and mobilize masses.
Los Angeles – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) made an impassioned appeal today calling on Americans to mark May 1 as a national day of action in support of worker rights and immigration reform. CHIRLA also called on traditional and non-traditional media organizations, bloggers, writers, DJs, celebrities, anchors, reporters, editors, and producers, to urge immigrants to come out in force May Day. May 1 falls in the middle of the Congressional recess. The Senate is expected to begin the immigration bill’s markup May 9. The following is a statement for Angelica Salas with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional immigrant rights organizations with national impact.
“The traditional May Day celebrations, rallies, and marches are fast approaching and tens of thousands will take to the streets to express their support for worker rights and long-overdue immigration system updates. We call on every American family to mark May 1 as a national day of action to press for the end of life in the shadows for millions of undocumented workers, students, families, and children who call the U.S. home.
We make a special appeal to traditional and non-traditional media organizations, writers, reporters, bloggers, DJs, radio personalities, news anchors, assignment editors, producers, and directors to add your voice to this historic push for immigration reform. Whether anti or in support, we need the media’s support to engage Americans in a respectful and meaningful dialogue about a fair, inclusive, and real approach to immigration and the 11 million of undocumented workers living in the U.S. And we welcome your encouragement to our community to walk, run, march, rally, and speak out on May Day in support of real and long-lasting immigration reform. If we do not show up by the tens of thousands, who will?
At no other time in recent history has the American public and a large majority of its elected representatives concurred that our immigration laws are dangerously broken, morally reprehensible, and deserving of an overhaul without delay. Moreover, playing politics with the lives of millions of families who are American in everything but paper is unacceptable to Americans regardless of their political affiliation. Many elected leaders in Congress have heeded the call for bipartisanship and have gotten to work on a serious, direct, and inclusive path to citizenship. Far too many Senators and Members of Congress, however, continue to lend a deaf ear to a November 6 voter mandate and unless pressured bow to defy conventional wisdom and seek piecemeal approaches or work to derail the hard-earned progress altogether. We will remain strong and steadfast in our efforts to keep the dreams of aspiring Americans, just like generations of immigrants before them, alive.
On May Day we call on everyone who can manage to take some time off work or school to step forward into the light and chant, march, and rally away the shadows that keep our communities from flourishing, families from staying together, and elected leaders from doing what is decent, moral, and necessary. Whatever you do, let us take a step forward on May 1.”
Many Sticks to Reach the Carrot
Senate immigration proposal represents opportunity to fix broken system, uphold the promise of the American Dream, and build on the contribution of millions who will emerge from the shadows. But real immigration reform legislation must be measured by how many people reach the finish line, not just how many people start the path.
Los Angeles – Los Angeles – A bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of 8 charged with drafting a path to citizenship announced it is ready to share the fruit of their labor this week. The proposed immigration reform bill is the first serious attempt in nearly two decades to tackle a broken immigration system. The following is a statement for Angelica Salas, Executive Director with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional human and civil rights organization with national impact.
“The introduction of the Senate version for a path to citizenship marks a historic and profound moment in American history. Like generations before, immigrants today, especially immigrant workers who live in the U.S. without documents, will finally have a chance to emerge from the shadows and see their aspirations become part of this nation’s social fabric and vitality. It is a great day in America when our nationally-elected leaders make due on their promise to serve a nation’s people without letting politics hinder them from doing the right thing.
The Senate bipartisan Gang of 8 is to be commended for their hard work in drafting this significant legislation. We have only started to analyze the intricate details in the proposed legislation, yet it is clear a great deal of thought has gone into drafting it. Although the initial draft seems focused on adopting a more stick and less carrot approach to immigration policy, we bow to remain actively engaged with Congress to ensure the final product is a common sense, fair, and inclusive bill.
True, long-lasting immigration reform must include, without exception, a direct and full path to citizenship allowing for millions to start the process AND reach the finish line within a few years, not decades after or at all. The family should remain the cornerstone of America’s immigration policy and no generation should bear the burden of parting with or choosing from one loved one over another. For us to fully support an immigration reform bill it needs to be accessible in terms of cost, fair and realistic in its documentation requirements, contain a responsible and inclusive cut-off date, protect confidentiality, not exclude applicants for minor offenses, eliminate the 3 and 10 year bars, include applicants for asylum, TPS, U-Visa, and VAWA recipients in the expedited process for DACA recipients, and protect from deportation those who would otherwise qualify for the legalization program.
After many years of marching, families who have spoken up, students who would not give up their dreams, leaders who have risked their political careers to do the right thing, and people using their political power by voting, we at last have an immigration bill we can work with. While we believe this proposal is a strong first step, now is time for the American people to actively engage with Congress to ensure the bill is the right one for our families and for America. The political, economic, and moral imperative for legalization has never been clearer and we commend Congress for undertaking the task and moving forward with a bill that will modernize our nation’s immigration laws, honor our history and reflect our values.”
Senator Feintein must Represent All Californians at Critical Time in Immigration Reform Dialogue
Los Angeles -- The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) reacted today to Senator Feinstein's press statement where she underscores "strong" support for immigration reform while touting her efforts to include agricultural workers as part of an overall immigration reform package.
"Senator Feinstein has demonstrated in the past she can be a true champion for Californians. Her strong position as the senior senator and the role she plays as part of the Judiciary Committee, place her directly in the path where she can steer or veer an issue to favor our communities.
In the current immigration reform debate, however, we are sadly aware Senator Feinstein has remained consistently silent when it comes to legislation that strongly favors family unity. As our senior senator, she must be fully aware that family is the core pillar in our communities. California is home to the largest number of Asian and Latino immigrants in the nation and the state with the highest number of undocumented immigrants who will most likely benefit from a fair, accessible, and inclusive immigration overhaul."
But without a strong family component, any immigration reform legislation will be considered seriously flawed by our communities. This is why we need Senator Feinstein's strong support which goes beyond words or legislation that benefits a small segment of our state's population. We need Senator Feinstein to meet with immigrant families, hear their stories, and fight hand and hand with us to remain united. We need Senator Feinstein to represent all Californians as she was elected to do."
Los Angeles – On Wednesday, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) celebrated the passage of AB 889, the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, in the Senate by a vote of 21-13 in favor. The California Legislature takes up the bill on Thursday. Nannies, housekeepers, child care providers and caregivers in California would be eligible for overtime and meal breaks under this bill. The bill also would require that live-in workers be compensated if their eight-hour rest period was interrupted. This bill is not intended to regulate casual “baby sitters”. Regulations governing their working conditions would be set by the state Department of Industrial Relations. California would be the second state, after New York, to adopt such rules.
The following is a statement from Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional immigrant rights organization based in Los Angeles.
“The California home is closer than ever to becoming a place where a live-in household worker, nanny, or caregiver finds respect and basic labor protections for a job well done almost always in silence and shadows.
For the first time in history since basic labor standards were established for every other worker except household workers and slaves, California’s AB889 is close to offering basic provisions for these hard workers.
History has once again sided with workers, this time providing overtime pay, meals, rest periods, and adequate sleep, debunking the indefensible age-old argument that it’s unworkable to recognize, value, and remunerate a woman’s work in the house.
Almost every family in California has needed the help and support of a caregiver, live-in nanny or household keeper at some point. Today, we are calling on Governor Brown to sign AB889 and give California families a tool to thank and improve the living conditions of those who have given their best to make life at home a little easier.”