As Senate Approves Immigration Bill, Immigrant Leaders Urge Elected Officials to Stick to Common Sense Principles for Meaningful Reform.

Chicago, IL – Today, as the US Senate voted 68-32 to approve a proposal for immigration reform and border security, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) continues to press elected officials to adhere to basic principles of promoting family unity, creating meaningful opportunities for immigrants to become full members of society and fiscal responsibility.

“For the more than 12 million people who live under the constant threat of having their families torn apart by deportation, this issue could not be more urgent, said NALACC Director, Oscar Chacón.  “We have seen many efforts at reform fall apart before reaching this critical milestone, but the battle is far from over,” he continued.  Indeed, NALACC has serious concerns about the implications of provisions that were grafted on to the Senate Bill during the final push for approval.  The Senate bill could end up excluding many of the people the bill purports to help, as well including wasteful spending on border militarization, projected to cost all taxpayers, including immigrants, more than $40 billion over the next 10 years.

“Our attention turns to our elected officials in the House of Representatives who must respond to the clear demands of the Latino community for a path to residency and eventual citizenship for all of the 12 million people who currently lack authorized immigrant status,” commented Angela Sanbrano, President of NALACC’s Board of Directors,” she added.  “We call on our Representatives to enhance the positive elements of the Senate Bill, and turn away from the corporate give-aways and concessions to xenophobic special interests.

“As leaders committed to justice, equality and the respect of basic human rights, we know that there will be a lot of work ahead of us,” said Juvencio Rocha, President of the Mexicans Association of North Carolina and NALACC’s board vice-president. Rocha added “immigrant communities across the nation will rise to the dual challenge of making the best out of any changes that may be brought about by a potential reform in US immigration law, while organizing to right the wrongs that will remain in place.”

NALACC applauds the decision of the US Supreme court to strike down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.  This clears the way for same-sex married couples to access any immigration benefits that are available to married couples under pending legislation, and serves the interests of justice and equality.

NALACC and its members will continue to organize to inform immigrant communities about the content of the legislation, to press for a halt to deportations,  and to ensure that immigrants are not criminalized in the name of immigration reform.