Campaign to Make Immigration Reform a Top Issue in 2010
On October 13 2010 , immigration activists from around the country gathered to join in a vigil and rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC., where Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez and other elected officials launched a new push for comprehensive immigration reform, building to the opening months of 2010. their banners read “Reform Immigration FOR Families” and “Family Unity Cannot Wait.”
More than 750 people traveled to Washington on buses from up and down the Eastern seaboard and as far away as Texas, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and Michigan. They spent Tuesday morning meeting with Congressional offices before being joined by thousands of people from the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area, who gathered on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol to listen to testimonies from families, veterans, and children who face family disintegration because of immigration laws and deportation.
Religious leaders from a diverse array of faith traditions around the country, some organized through Familias Unidas, added their voices.
- At the event Congressman Gutierrez outlined a set of principles for progressive immigration reform that needs to include a rational and humane approach to legalize the undocumented population, to protect workers’ rights, to allocate sufficient visas, to establish a smarter and more humane border enforcement policy, to promote integration of immigrant communities, to include the DREAM Act and AgJOBS bills, to protect rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and to keep families together.
The lawmakers who joined Rep. Gutierrez on stage, and addressed the gathering included Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairman Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairs Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Congressional Black Caucus Member, Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Michael Quigley (D-IL), and Delegate Gregorio Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands).
Supporting Obama's birth control plan
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and three other congresswomen attended a special news conference Feb. 8, 2012, reacting to Republican Speaker John Boehner's attack on the Obama administration's birth control policy.
Boehner vowed to overturn the policy, complaining that it was a violation of religious freedom because its coverage includes schools and hospitals with religious affiliation. Other Republicans saw this as a political opening, and argued that this was a sensitive issue of "religious liberty."
Schakowsky, along with Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Lois Capps, D-Calif., and Gwen Moore, D-Wis., said at the press conference they supported the president's policy, explaining that it strikes a balance between religious and individual freedom.
Schakowsky said the policy exempts churches from providing birth control benefits for their workers.
As for religiously-connected hospitals and schools, she explained, "If they want to be part of the business world, then they have to follow the same rules as other businesses."
Capps and DeLauro outlined some of the benefits of the birth control decision, noting that it was based on scientific evidence, decreased infant mortality and unintended pregnancy, and would reduce the long-standing gender discrimination issues that women in health care face.
Rep. Michael Quigley, D-Ill., said the ruling was a mainstream one, and that the Catholic Church ought to support it.
- ↑ Immigration Matters New America Media, Richard Stoltz, 0ctober 18, 2009
- ↑ Congresswomen defend birth control for all by: Blake Deppe, February 9 2012