Latino Immigrant Leaders Are Encouraged by Outline for Immigration Reform Presented by Key Senators
Warn Immigrant Communities to Pay Attention to the Details
Chicago, IL – Leaders of the National Alliance of Latin American immigrant Communities (NALACC) are encouraged by the immigration reform guideline presented by key U.S. Senators as it signals the possibility for much needed changes to our for long obsolete and deeply broken immigration policy. As it is well known, immigrants from Mexico and Central American countries make up the vast majority of people being placed in detention and subsequently deported at the rhythm of over 1,100 people per day. The vast majority of those being deported have not committed any serious violation to the law, except residing in the country without a visa. NALACC leaders had the following responses:
“We commend the group of U.S. Senators from both sides of the aisle for their efforts to come up with a wise, compassionate and visionary bill intended to reform current U.S. immigration policy,” stated Angela Sanbrano, President of the board of directors of NALACC. “The elements presented in the immigration reform outlined unveiled in the past few hours by key U.S. Senators represent several of the areas in our current law that must be reformed immediately,” added Ms. Sanbrano. “If, as a nation, we have come to a point of recognizing the value of Latino communities for the wellbeing and progress of our nation, we must leave behind the heavily punitive frame that has characterized our immigration policy since at least 1990,” concluded Ms. Sanbrano.
“Knowing that over the past thirty years we have spent over $200 billion in immigration enforcement, both at the Southern border, as well as in the interior of the nation, it is simply unwise to suggest that we need to do more of it,” stated Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente in Massachusetts and a NALACC board member. “We plan to engage our congressional representatives to make them fully aware about what immigrant communities see as most broken when it comes to our current immigration policy,” added Ms. Montes. “It would be a wasted opportunity if we end up with an immigration reform law that leaves the most damaging and wasteful aspects of our current law untouched,” concluded Ms. Montes.
“While we applaud the initiative taken by the eight Senators who have worked on this policy guidelines, immigrant communities must take an active role in demanding a positive outcome for our communities,” stated Oscar Chacón, NALACC’s executive director. “In 1986, the legalization process to get to a legal permanent residency status took about two years to be completed. Our communities need and expect at least as swift a time frame with this proposal,” added Mr. Chacón. “While fully modernizing all of our immigration law is a monumental task, and may take time, we urgently need to stop once and for all the unprecedented levels of detentions and deportations that have caused so much pain in our communities,” concluded Mr. Chacón.