Hispanic activist groups call for halt to enforcement of immigration laws
Sept 13, 2007 3:00 AM
by Dan Genz, The DC Examiner
WASHINGTON (Map, News) – Several Hispanic immigrant organizations called on Congress Wednesday to pass a moratorium on the enforcement of key immigration laws, saying the system is broken and families are being ripped apart by deportations. Latino Families United and other groups, speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill, called for a ban on raids, deportations and no-match letters until new immigration reforms are approved. They asserted that the countrys many legal immigrants would make immigration reform a top priority when choosing who to support in 2008 elections.
The anxiety that children and families go through when they are raided and split is one of the many reasons why this is going to be a new dimension of the immigration movement, said Pedro Aviles, director of the National Capital Immigration Coalition.
But illegal immigration critic Greg Letiecq of the Help Save Manassas group called such a proposal laughable.
To say it would be a better place if we just didnt enforce our laws is so far beyond ludicrous, I couldnt imagine anyone taking this tripe seriously, Letiecq said. It is not the character of Americans to just give up on something that is important.
After congressional attempts to pass immigration reform collapsed this summer politicians said a major overhaul would have to wait until after the 2008 election.
But speakers at the conference said presidential candidates will have to address the issue in order to win over of millions of immigrant voters.
This is not a dead issue, New York City Council Member Juan Rivera said during the news conference, Were here to breathe life into it.
With 12 million people living in the country without legal status, Aviles said immigrants are anxious and want to show the real human fears of immigration raids and employers firing workers without proper social security cards.
Twenty children including Saulito Arellano, the son of famous twice-deported illegal immigrant Elvira Arellano, opened the news conference by singing Born in the USA, dont take my mommy or my daddy away.
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