What: Press Conference
Where: MALDEF HEADQUARTERS
634 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, Ca 90014
When: Monday September 23rd 2013
Immigration reform can and should aim to reduce poverty and boost nation's economic strength.
LOS ANGELES – Civil and immigrant rights leaders from the Latino and African-American communities today urged Congress and the Administration to remain focused on the passage of immigration reform and anti-poverty measures. They emphasized that while Congress continues to focus on important foreign policy and its work to avert a government shutdown, lawmakers must not use that as an excuse to push comprehensive immigration reform and anti-poverty measures off the agenda.
Today’s press conference attendees stressed that while many Congressional leaders focus has been on reforming immigration policy to strengthen border security, reform should also be seen as an important mechanism for lifting people out of poverty.
“TAS QUOTE,” said Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).
While leaders emphasized that immigration reform benefits the nation economically, separately, they added that Congress can and must take additional action to address the growing numbers of Americans in poverty and the increasing economic inequality gap. New data released last week by the the U.S. Census Bureau showed that the nation’s poverty rate remained stagnant and the gap between the rich and poor continues to grow. The nation's official poverty rate in 2012 was 15.0 percent, or 46.5 million, Americans living at or below the poverty line. In 2012, 10 percent of Americans held more than half the nation’s overall individual/family income.
“JLJ QUOTE,” said Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., President and Founder, Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Civil rights leaders also questioned those in Congress who say that there has not been enough examination of the issues and that reform should not be rushed. The United States Senate held nearly a dozen hearings and dozens of amendments to the Senate passed bill were debated and voted on.
“PA QUOTE,” said Pablo Alvarado. Executive Director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.