News & Media

Faith and Immigrant Communities Demand Comprehensive Immigration Reform

People Acting in Community Together (PACT San Jose)

August 5, 2009


Sergio Gomez (408) 592.3027 (Spanish/English)
Maria Esther Cabrera (408) 726.9253 (Spanish)
Karen Belote (408) 910.7944                                                                                                     

 Faith and Immigrant Communities Demand Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Thousands urge Congress Member Zoe Lofgren to fix broken immigration system this year

* National Campaign pushes for workable solutions to move our country forward * 

WHO & WHAT:  Congress Member Zoe Lofgren meets with hundreds of faith and grassroots community leaders from PACT, SIREN, SVAIR, PICO National Network, and the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign (RI4A).

Community members will give testimony about their continuing struggles for equality, for keeping their families united, and the desperate need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

PACT will ask Congress Member Lofgren to urge Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, her Congressional colleagues, and President Obama to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year.

WHEN:    Thursday, August 6th, 2009, 7:30pm

WHERE:  St. Patrick's Proto-Cathedral, 389 E. Santa Clara St. San Jose, 95113

WHY:  The current immigration system is hurting our families and our economy.

  • Legal U.S. Residents' and naturalized Citizens' immediate family members are stuck in a visa backlog nightmare, with approvals being delayed sometimes more than 20 years.
  • Children who are U.S. citizens of undocumented immigrant parents live with the constant fear of the destruction of their family if their parents are taken in an ICE raid.
  • There is currently no way for undocumented immigrants who have worked hard for years in this country to adjust their status to legal resident, which would allow them to get a driver's license, car insurance, pay into social security and participate fully in the recovery of the US economy.

Now more than ever, we all need comprehensive immigration reform.

  • With more than 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country, an "enforcement only" policy is unrealistic and would cost over $200 billion in deportation programs. In contrast, a comprehensive policy focused on integration and normalizing the status of undocumented immigrants would generate an estimated $66 billion in additional tax revenue over the next ten years.
  • The recently released Cardozo Report on ICE Enforcement has revealed a pattern of racial profiling against Latinos. The report finds that "90% of the collateral arrest records reviewed where ICE officers did not note any basis for seizing and questioning the individual, were of Latino men and women - though Latinos represented only 66% of target arrests."Such profiling goes against our nation's values of equality and due process and creates very real fear of law enforcement officers among many of Silicon Valley's Latino families. This fear of law enforcement officials makes neighborhoods LESS safe, as people choose not to call SJPD when they are witnesses to or victims of a crime.
  • A recent national poll by the Benenson Strategy Group found that there is widespread support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, with more than 80% of Democratic, Republican and Independent voters saying they are for it.

Not only do American voters believe it is time for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, so do many of our nation's leaders.  After a June 25 meeting between the President and top legislative leaders, President Obama is quoted as saying "I think the consensus is that despite our inability to get this passed over the last several years, the American people still want to see a solution in which we are tightening up our borders, or cracking down on employers who are using illegal workers in order to drive down wages, and oftentimes mistreat[ing] those workers. And we need an effective way to recognize and legalize the status of undocumented workers who are here."  In the Senate, Senator Charles Schumer (D- NY) is in the process of writing Comprehensive Immigration Legislation and is planning to submit it to committee before Labor Day.

PACT is joining with PICO congregations across the country, as well as the Reform Immigration FOR America campaign, in launching a media and grassroots campaign to build broad support in Congress for a just and humane comprehensive immigration reform.  The national campaign includes events across the country, public meetings with Senators and Representatives, and other local and national lobbying efforts - all focused on the goal of enacting reform that will include workable solutions that will move us all forward together.

Event Organized by:

  • PACT: People Acting in Community Together is a multi-ethnic, interfaith organization that empowers people to create a more just community.PACT represents 21 congregations and 50,000 people in Santa Clara County, and is part of the PICO National Network.www.pactsj.org
  • PICO National Network has fifty-two affiliated federations working in 150 cities and towns and seventeen states. More than one million families and one thousand congregations from forty different denominations and faiths participate in PICO. www.piconetwork.org
  • Supported by: Silicon Valley Alliance for Immigration Reform, SIREN, CET Immigration services, and Reform Immigration for America