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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ” – César Chávez, UFW

Latinos to Obama, Senate on Immigration: We Voted For Citizenship, Not More Punishment

Jan. 29, 2013

Presente.org welcomes President Obama’s speech on immigration reform, especially the position opposing the proposal making “border security” a “trigger” allowing movement on citizenship. Unfortunately, the immigration policy framework and priniciples that the President laid out in his speech will lead to legalization policies that will create barriers that exclude millions from among the 11 million immigrants in the country from ever becoming citizens. Equally disconcerting is how the President’s proposed framework on immigration will “stay focused on enfrocement” which will leave millions of immigrants vulnerable to the worst part of existing immigration policy: the failed enforcement and “border security” policies that separate families, terrorize children and generally diminish immigrant life.

“President Obama sounded good, but misspoke when he said most people he is deporting were “criminals.” Nobody is asking President Obama to support policies that are “badly broken,” said Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org. "No polls of Latinos say we want “smarter enforcement” that wastes more tax payer dollars to pad the incredibly bloated budget of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE)."

“We call on President Obama and Congress to propose concrete legislation that leads to the immediate removal of unnecessary barriers to citizenship that are in the Senate legislation: fees, language requirements, unfair employment verification and other obstacles. We demand all 11 to 12 million. No less."