Immigrant Rights Groups: Legal Status for Undocumented Workers
Immigrant rights groups expressed their disappointment on Monday over President Obama's and the Democrat's failure to pass legislation that would provide legal status to undocumented workers and their families.
According to White House officials, President Obama was scheduled to meet with Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) to discuss an immigration reform bill. White House spokesman, Nicholas Shapiro, said that the president's "commitment to fixing our broken immigration system remains unwavering."
Democrats' Record on Immigration
The event, held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., featured almost a dozen immigrant rights groups lobbying for immigration reform legislation.
Brent Wilkes, Executive Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said "It is unconscionable to have over 387,000 deported in the first year of an Obama presidency, and our community is angry.”
Angelica Salas, director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said, “These are the same enforcement practices that we marched against during the Bush administration. On any given day over 32,000 immigrants are under detention in jails and prisons around the country awaiting deportation."
Immigrants at the Polls
Immigration reform groups are planning to hold a demonstration in Washington on March 21 and have threatened to punish Democrats at the polls if immigration reform is not passed.
"No legalization. No reelection," says Emma Lozano, executive director of the Chicago-based Centro Sin Fronteras.
In February, the immigration advocacy group America's Voice reported that Hispanic voters could prove decisive this fall in 40 gubernatorial, Senate and House races.
People are suffering", said Dae Joong Yoon, the executive director of the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles. "In 2008 many of our community members voted for change...We can't take it anymore! Wake up! Do something!"