FIRM Ratchets up Pressure on Congress with ‘Remember November’ Campaign

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) announced its ‘Remember November’ campaign, the coalition’s next steps in achieving comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship that keeps families together.

Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of the Center for Community Change, announced the move saying that “over the Memorial Day recess period for Congress, FIRM groups in 30 states will lead over 100 voter registration rallies, town hall meetings, marches and congressional visits to urge Republican leaders to remember what happened in November and to pass immigration reform.”

“Just to remind Republicans of what happened in November 2012: Latino and immigrant voters turned out in record numbers to elect lawmakers with pro-immigration reform records and views,” Bhargava said. “We were out in force in the field, on the phones, online and inWashingtonturning up the heat. And we will do it again and again until immigration reform is achieved.”

“The campaign is first and foremost about families and the moral crisis that our broken immigration system visits on our nation’s communities every day,” Bhargava added. “We will not forget or forgive those who stand for policies that delay immediate action to end the destruction of our families.”

FIRM groups were a constant presence on Capitol Hill every day the Senate Judiciary Committee held markup sessions. FIRM groups will continue to have families in the Capitol, including families from committee members’ home states, and vigils outside the building, as well as daily lobby visits from families calling on Congress for a real, clear and direct path to citizenship, not an endless, unworkable obstacle course.

Last week, President Obama and Vice President Biden met in the oval office with seven people from FIRM. And on the same day, the Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly approved the Senate immigration bill. FIRM put pressure on lawmakers to make sure anti-immigrant amendments were defeated.

“We now turn our attention to the House,” Bhargava said. “John Boehner has not gotten the job done. Speaker Boehner and the Republicans in the House would be well served to Remember November.”

Readout of the President and Vice President’s meeting with Dreamers and Family Members of Undocumented Immigrants

(Last week), the President and the Vice President met in the Oval Office with young immigrants who received deferred action and with the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants. This meeting was an important opportunity for the President and the Vice President to meet with families who are directly affected by our nation’s broken immigration system.

The President and the Vice President were moved by the stories of courage and determination of these young immigrants and their families. The Dreamers shared how their lives have been positively affected by the deferred action process and emphasized that they and their families need a permanent solution that will allow them to fully contribute to the country they call home.

At the meeting, the President reiterated his commitment to passing a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill this year. He made clear that while the current bill is not perfect, it does represent an important step towards the broad principles that need to be part of any immigration reform package.

The President underscored that their stories are a good reminder that immigration isn’t just a policy issue, but it’s about our families, our communities and it’s about our common future. The President and the Vice President thanked participants for their leadership, courage and on-going efforts to move immigration reform legislation forward.  The President also encouraged them to continue to share their stories with the American public to move the hearts and minds of individual leaders and to propel the immigration debate forward.

The following people participated in the today’s meeting. Participants are visitingWashingtonto speak to their elected representatives as the Senate considers immigration reform legislation:

* Diana Colin. Diana is a legal permanent resident who currently resides inLos Angeles,California. One of her brothers received deferred action.

* Kate Kahan, Legislative Director, Center for Community Change. Kate is the Legislative Director for the Center for Community Change, a national social justice organization that is a member of theAlliancefor Citizenship coalition in support of commonsense immigration reform.

* Angie Kim. Angie is a South Korean immigrant who resides inNew York,New York; she received deferred action.

* Miguel Leal.   Miguel is aU.S.citizen who resides inFitchburg,Massachusetts. He is anIraqwar veteran. Miguel is an immigrant fromCuba; his wife in undocumented.

* Kevin Lee. Kevin is a South Korean immigrant who received deferred action. He currently resides inLos Angeles,California. Both of his parents are undocumented.

* Mehdi Mahraoui. Mehdi came to theUnited StatesfromMoroccowhen he was 7 years old. He is a legal permanent resident and lives inNew York,New York. His parents and his older sister remain undocumented.

* Melissa McGuire-Maniau. Melissa’s husband is an undocumented immigrant fromMexico. Melissa is aU.S.veteran; she and her husband reside inWinter Park,Florida.

* Justino Mora. Justino received deferred action; he currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

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