Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rallies demand Congress act with the President

Labor and immigrant organizations are pushing hard during the Congressional recess to make sure that Connecticut's delegation takes leadership for progressive immigration reform this month.

Sit-ins, press conferences, meetings, marches and rallies mark this week and next leading up to the national lobby day and rally in Washington DC on the west lawn of the Capitol Wednesday April 10.

Speaking at a press conference at Columbus Academy magnet school in New Haven's Fair Haven neighborhood, Sen. Richard Blumenthal declared the Senators and Representatives from Connecticut are all "strong supporters" in this "generational moment."

Reflecting on the slogan of the week, "The time is now," Fatima Rojas, who came to the United States eight years ago from Mexico and is an organizer for Unite Here said, "The time was yesterday!" She emphasized daily tragedies as families are separated due to 1100 deportations a day.

Ana Maria Rivera said the families she serves at Junta are "negatively impacted each day." With urgency she asked, "where is the bill? We need a bill so workers are treated alike."

Marches will be held April 9 in Danbury, Bridgeport and New Haven and on April 10 in Hartford and Stamford, while three buses travel to Washington D.C.

The D.C. rally was initiated by Fair Immigration Reform Movement, said Kica Matos, a director at the parent organization Center for Community Change. "We are demanding that Congress work with the President for a clear path to citizenship. A clear path doesn't take dads," she exclaimed.

Christian Proan, a student, said after being accepted into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in November he was able to get a drivers license, go to college and get a job.

"But I am still not happy," he said, putting his arm around his mom. "My parents sacrificed. They also deserve better jobs and drivers license."

After a walk on Grand Ave to visit shop owners and residents, Blumenthal met with labor and community leaders. A meeting with Sen. Chris Murphy and House members are also scheduled.

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