This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending March 31

Week Ending March 31

This week in immigration: Community leaders mobilize to push back against funding for the administration’s mass deportation force during the NCLR Community Leaders Action Summit; NCLR and Senate Democrats stand with families impacted by the administration’s cruel and misguided deportation policies; NCLR Capital Awards honors leaders standing up for our community.

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Community Leaders at NCLR Action Summit Mobilize for Stronger Communities, Stronger America: As part of this week’s Community Leaders Action Summit, Latino advocates, youth and civic leaders from throughout the nation had a clear message for their congressional representatives: End the assault on millions of American families and refuse to fund President Trump’s mass deportation tactics and border wall. During nearly 100 visits with members of Congress, community advocates urged their representatives to stand up for and defend policies that benefit millions of American families. “The NCLR Community Leaders Action Summit was an important and needed gathering of Latino leaders from throughout the nation who have witnessed first-hand how this administration’s cruel deportation policies have hurt families and communities,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

In addition to their meetings on Capitol Hill, the nearly 300 participants attended issue briefings and trainings to advance new voter engagement tools, and design local campaigns. Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis spoke at the Summit and a cross-section of community leaders joined by Janet Murguía met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Participants pledged that they would make voters back home aware of their elected representatives’ positions on key issues for their communities.

Community Leaders Action Summit participants were joined by the Honorable John Lewis

 Families Share their Stories with Senators Schumer, Menendez, and Harris: Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) joined NCLR and the U.S. citizen children whose families are being torn apart, to urge Congress to reject the Trump Administration’s $3 billion FY 17 supplemental funding that would begin the process of building a border wall and would further set in motion Trump’s deportation force. Rose Escobar and Fatima Avelica shared what has happened to their families because of the administration’s reckless mass deportation policy that puts politics over families, common sense and human decency.

Rose Escobar and her 7-year-old son, are both U.S. citizens. Rose’s husband, Jose, 31, was deported to El Salvador – a country he has not seen since he was 15 – over a paperwork filing mistake made nearly a decade ago. Fatima and Yuleni Avelica ages 13 and 12 are both U.S. citizens. Fatima watched from the back seat of her car as her father, Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, was taken away after he dropped her sister off at school. A father of four, Romulo has lived in this country for 25 years.  Both families are connected to NCLR Affiliates – Academia Avance in Los Angeles and KIPP in Houston.

NCLR Capital Awards Recognize Community Leaders Who Stand Up Against Hate: At the 30th Annual Capital Awards, NCLR honored Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston and Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles for their efforts to promote the safety and unity of all families in the face of anti-immigrant threats. Both Mayor Walsh and Mayor Garcetti demonstrated the power of true leadership when they immediately opposed an executive order aimed at ramping up deportations and cultivating an atmosphere of fear and division in their communities. NCLR honored the mayors because they were “among the bold leaders who took a stand against this cruel and unnecessary policy—choosing to fight politics of division with understanding and common sense. Their actions served as an example of courageous leadership and a much-needed reminder that our country’s values should be the driving force behind governing,” said Janet Murguía. 

NCLR also honored political strategist and commentator Ana Navarro using her platform and political savvy to champion the Latino voice in an environment where it is often excluded. As a frequent political commentator, Ana was outspoken on issues of importance to our community and often called out her own party for endorsing an agenda of intolerance and broad-brush attempts to criminalize immigrants. On Wednesday evening, she implored everyone in the audience to take a stand against hate and fight back against the executive orders that have targeted Latino communities. “Even if you’re going to be okay, if our community is a target, every one of us is a target.” Read more about the Capital Award recipients here: Janet Murguía and NCLR Affiliate leaders meet with Senator Patty Murray during the NCLR Community Leaders Action Summit

Op-ed by NCLR CEO Janet Murguia featured in USA Today: The op-ed focused on President Trump’s funding request to Congress for an additional $3 billion for immigration enforcement and its implications for Latino families. In the op-ed Janet wrote, “Lawmakers who endorse and fund the administration’s immigration enforcement policies will be abandoning American ideals and attaching their names to what will become a shameful legacy of nativism and political opportunism.” You can read the op-ed here.

NCLR staff kept the community informed in a number of news pieces this week, with staff quoted in stories in La Opinion, Roll Call, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Daily News, Fusion, The Miami Herald

NCLR also had an op-ed on the importance of family immigration published this week in USA Today. You can read the op-ed here:

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This week, NCLR welcomed leaders and advocates from our Affiliate Network to Washington, DC for our Community Leaders Actions Summit. Attendees were treated to two days of workshops and trainings […]