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President Obama’s immigration speech in Vegas; thinking about families and our nation’s economy

February 3, 2013
What happens in Vegas shouldn't always stay in Vegas. Earlier this week, in a crammed high school basketball stadium in Las Vegas, I heard President Obama speak about the need to finally, truly fix our broken immigration system so that it's fair and also brings economic strength to our entire nation. Right now, too many families and businesses in the United States are suffering because we lack a modernized roadmap to citizenship for aspiring citizens. The clock is ticking for families and for our economy. According to the latest Associated Press poll, the majority of Americans favor providing...
Mary O's picture

We have to fix this

February 2, 2013
A few years ago I saw a video that shocked me : Two young children crying, alone in a car, reaching out for their mother who'd been taken away by armed deputies wearing ski masks after being stopped for a minor traffic violation. The images haven't left me. A nightmare, right? Never in America? Wrong. A local NBC news report described the incident through the eyes of a witness, "…the deputies were wearing ski masks and detained the children's mother for about an hour while her children watched, crying." This wasn't an isolated incident. In fact, across the country repeated civil rights...
Kristin's picture

Immigrants are People Who Move

February 1, 2013
For my grandmother, Obdulia Olivella, moving was a part of life. She was born in El Salvador and moved to Panama as a young woman to help her U.S.-born husband start a business. Over the next couple of decades, they would move with four children in tow to the United States, back to Panama, then to Venezuela and ultimately settling permanently in the United States. Families move. Immigrants are people who move. Thankfully, for my grandmother, due to her personal circumstances, it was not difficult to obtain U.S. citizenship. But this is not the case for the 11 million people currently living...
Mary O's picture

"I don't want to leave my school and this country."

January 31, 2013
As I listened to the barrage of news this week on immigration, I kept thinking about an 8-year-old girl I met in Georgia in 2011. Melanie is a star student and Girl Scout. Her mother bravely spoke to a group of women delegates about how Georgia's treatment of immigrants was affecting families. Melanie clung to her mother and cried while her mother told us how difficult it was when she had to tell Melanie that they might be forced to move back to Mexico if Georgia passed a harsh new anti-immigrant law. Melanie's mother also proudly told us that Melanie took it upon herself to write Georgia's...
Mary O's picture

Immigration = Diversity & Strength

January 23, 2013
How different would the USA be if we weren’t a land of immigrants? (you could say that if no one ever migrated the land would be mainly inhabited by the Cherokee, Iroquois, and so forth, but for this purpose, let us imagine what USA would be like with no immigration after the Revolution). Think about all the things that are so mainstream that come other cultures, but that have become so pervasive, we couldn’t imagine our lives without them. Think about all the things you enjoy on a daily basis— from morning to night… Coffee. Google. Tea. Your favorite sushi or Chinese restaurant. Yoga. Do you...
Diana Limongi's picture

Arrest, Detention of DREAM Leader’s Mother Shows Why We Need Immigration Reform—And Administrative Change—Right now

January 14, 2013
Immigration reform will be a top legislative priority this year, and it won’t be some vague policy or philosophical change that we’re asking for. The coming battle to change our immigration policy is personal, and we fight it every day to protect our mothers, fathers, children, and family members. Last week was a powerful reminder of this when I received this email from my friend and colleague in the immigration movement, Erika Andiola of Arizona. Here’s what she wrote: My house just got raided by ICE and they took my mom and my brother. They had no reason to do this! I can't believe that...
Lynn Tramonte's picture

Children Take their “Wish for the Holidays” to Capitol Hill

December 19, 2012
By Emily Butera, Senior Program Officer for Migrant Rights and Justice, Women's Refugee Commission and Kate Kelly, Washington College of Law Distinguished Fellow, Women's Refugee Commission “Children need to be with their parents so they can succeed. I just want to be with my family. Please don’t take my parents away, and I promise I will be a productive member of society.” —Letter from a young boy from Florida, read at the Wish for the Holidays press conference Over the past few months, thousands of young people across the country have written letters to Congress as part of the A Wish for...
Emily Butera's picture

How the DACA Health Exclusions Harm Immigrant Women, and What You Can Do To Help

December 18, 2012
On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced a new policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that allows undocumented youth who meet specific requirements to apply for a two-year protection from deportation and for work authorization. When the policy was announced, advocates for immigrant women, including the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) , joined the immigrant rights communities to celebrate the decision, while recognizing that changes in immigration policy that promote fairness, justice, and opportunity also advance reproductive justice and...
Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas's picture

Embracing Our American Values: A MomsRising Blog Carnival on Protecting Family Unity, Strengthening Communities and Ensuring a Thriving Economy with the Contributions of Immigrants

December 13, 2012
This blog carnival was published on December 10th, 2012, and updated with additional blog posts on December 12th, 2012. As we commemorate today’s anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , MomsRising is pleased to launch a blog carnival to further the national dialogue on the urgent need for making our immigration system humane and workable. With the participation of over 40 voices, ranging from members of Congress to nationally recognized advocates, the rich diversity of our country is illustrated in this blog carnival. The below...
Kristin's picture

Passing the Dream Act

December 13, 2012
Eleven years ago, I was contacted by Ann Monaco, a teacher at the Merit School of Music in Chicago. One of her students – Tereza Lee – was a musical prodigy who had played as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. After growing up in an apartment with no heat or hot water, and learning to play the piano at her father’s church, Tereza had been accepted into several of the country’s most prestigious music schools. But Tereza had a problem. Her parents had brought her to the United States when she was two, and she was undocumented. We contacted the INS and they told us there was no way...
Senator Dick Durbin's picture

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