Immigration: Time for the Practical Solutions the Country Needs

Editor's note: below is a release and call for action from Clarissa Martínez De Castro, Director of Immigration and National Campaigns, NCLR ...

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) -- the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States -- welcomed today’s report in the New York Times that President Obama has made immigration reform one of his top priorities for this year. 

We understand that a strong economic recovery is built on a platform of shared prosperity, and immigration reform is part and parcel of that approach.  When you have a system in which one in 20 workers is susceptible to exploitation, it affects working conditions for everyone.  When you have a system where bad employers abuse workers and avoid taxes, it undermines us all.  (The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that previous immigration reform proposals that would get people in the system would have generated new revenue to the tune of $48–$66 billion).  Immigration reform can help lift wages, increase revenue, and level the playing field—all things our economy needs.  And significantly, it can help do so in a way that does not trample the values we hold dear.

“The message from the 2008 election is that this nation wants leaders who will solve tough problems.  President Obama pledged that he would address the issue of immigration during his first year of office, and we are pleased by this signal that he intends to make good on his promise,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.  “It is clear that the path to a strong economic recovery includes strategies that lift wages, increase revenue, and create a level playing field—and immigration reform is a crucial element of that equation.”

“Poll after poll have shown that the vast majority of Americans are looking for a fair and effective way to fix the immigration system.  The Latino community is ready to work with the White House and Congress to arrive at solutions that protect families and workers, and uphold both the American value of shared prosperity and our nation’s can-do attitude.  We intend to work with the President and Congress to make this a reality,” concluded Murguía.

We need you to take action and let the President and Congress know that we are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with them to get this done!  The can’t-do folks are already contacting Senator Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, singing their typical tune and claiming that immigration reform is a pipedream.

Contact President Obama, Senator Reid, and Speaker Pelosi and tell them:  “Yes we can!”

1.  CALL

For English, call (866) 584-3962. 

For Spanish, call (866) 583-2908.

2.   EMAIL the White House (, Senator Reid (, and Speaker Pelosi (, with a message like this one:

I am writing to thank you for your commitment to fixing our broken immigration system in 2009.  I want you to know that I am committed to doing whatever I can to help you and our congressional leaders pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation into law. 

At this time of economic uncertainty, it is critical that we put an end to the underground economy and get every worker and employer operating on a level playing field.

Thank you again for your leadership on this vital issue.  The time for real solutions is now, and you can count on me to help you get it done!


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