Monday, July 28, 2014

Congress' Inaction Fuels Immigration Activists to Act

Release of 2014 National Immigration Score Card showing Congress’ failures and rejection of immigrant communities 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (PR) -  National Latino and Asian American and Pacific Islander groups as well as labor and Evangelical leaders have announced an unprecedented alliance and civic engagement initiative, beginning with release of the 2014 National Immigration Score Card that shows how Congress failed on the issue of immigration reform.

“After the 2012 election, Congress held out handfuls of pledges to enact immigration reform. However, opposition from anti-immigration extremists turned those hands into balled up fists, delivering stinging blows to the push for reform and immigrant families,” the 10 national community, civil rights and faith leaders said in a joint statement released Monday. “Congress may try to ignore us and the immigration issue, but we will not.”

In the midst of a national immigration crisis and a shameful leadership vacuum on Capitol Hill, “No where is the anger and disappointment with Congress more palpable than in the Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander and immigrant communities that suffer daily from the consequences of Congress’ failure to remedy the broken and immoral immigration system,” the immigration reform advocates stated.

In response, the national leaders have embarked on a broad civic engagement initiative that includes national distribution of the first-ever 2014 National Immigration Score Card that shows how Congress failed on immigration reform by refusing to bring a broad bill to the House floor, yet calling for anti-immigrant votes, such as immediately ending the DACA program and deporting DREAMers. The scores are based on tabulations of immigration related votes and actions including cosponsorship of reform bills that include a path to citizenship and family reunification through visa reform.

The report also shows how the scores of several members were knocked down by leaders’ refusal to bring to the floor immigration legislation that could have passed the House.

“The 2014 National Immigration Score Card leaves no doubt who supported immigration reform and who worked against us,” according to the joint statement. “The American people support immigration reform and they will join us in sending a clear and unmistakable signal to Washington: Congress’ inaction fuels our action. The time is now for our communities to get engaged.”

* Scoring was based on members’ votes or actions on Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (H.R. 15); Discharge Petition to H.R. 15; King Amendment to the FY 2014 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 2217); ENFORCE the Law Act of 2014 (H.R. 4138); Faithful Execution of the Law Act of 2014 (H.R. 3973); Nadler Amendment to the ENFORCE Act of 2014 (H.R. 4138); Deutch Amendment to the FY 2014 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 2217); Reuniting Families Act (H.R. 717); King Amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2015 (H.R. 4660); Statement in Support of Path to Citizenship; Statement in Support of Family Unity (by reducing visa backlogs to reunite families.)

* Ratings are not meant to imply endorsement of or opposition to any officeholder.  There are inherent limitations to judging the qualifications of incumbents on the basis of a few selected votes.

Hispanic Federation
Japanese American Citizens League
Mi Familia Vota Education Fund
OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates
Voto Latino

Speakers at the Press Conference
Moderator: Clarissa Martínez de Castro, Deputy Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation, National Council of La Raza

Jose Calderón, President, Hispanic Federation
Rocio Sáenz, Member of Board of Directors, Mi Familia Vota (MFV)
DJ Yoon, Executive Director, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
Rev. Tony Suárez, Vice President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)

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