FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 30, 2014
CONTACT: Meredith MacKenzie, West End Strategy Team, office: (202)-776-7700, cell: (202) 427-2007, firstname.lastname@example.org
PICO National Network: GOP Immigration Principles Fall Short
People of faith will not settle for second-class status for aspiring Americans
WASHINGTON – Today, Eddie Carmona, director of PICO National Network’s Campaign for Citizenship, responded to the Republican principles on immigration reform by expressing the deep disappointment of thousands of faith leaders who have been working for citizenship over the past year and by asserting that the movement for immigration reform continues to wait for real legislative proposals from the leadership of the House of Representatives:
“For years we’ve been told to wait and see. We’ve waited and we’ve seen. This is not how Republicans establish trust with Latino voters. Today the House Republicans showed that they aren’t listening to their constituents who are saying loud and clear that undocumented immigrants who are their family members, neighbors and fellow parishioners need both immediate relief from deportation and a permanent solution to their unresolved status,” said Carmona.
“As people of faith, we are standing firmly behind a pathway to citizenship because no one deserves second-class status. Our faith teaches us that every person has unique dignity and worth. Citizenship is the only solution that is consistent with the values of our faith and our country.
“We firmly believe that a pathway to citizenship is the only option that recognizes the dignity of the 11 million and provides a permanent solution to our country’s broken immigration system. While we wait on the House to present real legislation, our families need immediate relief from deportations — something that President Obama could make happen today with an executive order.”
Today, House leadership released a set of “principles of immigration reform,” which fall far short of the earned pathway to citizenship that PICO National Network and its faith leaders and clergy have been fighting for. Clergy and grassroots leaders from PICO held more than 450 meetings with their Members of Congress in 2013 and engaged in phone banking, canvassing and long pilgrimages, including a trek across California, where aspiring Americans and allies walked nearly 300 miles to meet with Rep. Kevin McCarthy.
For more than a year, PICO National Network has mobilized people of faith in civic engagement, making clear to Members of Congress through prayer and action the moral and political cost of their inaction on a path to citizenship. PICO has 60 member organizations working to register voters, educating community members about issues that matter to their families and advocating from the faith perspective to Members of Congress.
PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. PICO works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 60 local and state federations. PICO and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office. PICO urges people of faith to consult their faith traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more at www.piconetwork.org.