This past year has been a roller coaster ride for immigrant rights advocates. After the Latino vote overwhelmingly decided the 2012 presidential elections, many felt hopeful that 2013 would be the year we would finally see immigration reform.
In the Spring and early Summer, we saw the U.S. Senate introduce and approve a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented families living in the shadows of our community. In the Fall, many felt more cause to be hopeful, when Progressives in the House of Representatives introduced their own bill with a pathway to citizenship.
In North Carolina, the General Assembly attempted to pass an Arizona-style anti-immigrant bill that would have hurt the community more than help it. In the end, the negative parts of H.B. 786 did not pass. Instead, the majority of the bill was put into a study committee for legislators to reconsider.
None of this happened in a vacuum. Without the strong grassroots efforts of immigrant families and average citizens, none of this could have been possible. In the thick of it all have been the members of Action NC.
Here are a few ways that Action NC members and staff have lead the fight for immigration reform this year:
- Traveled to Washington DC 5 times, to advocate for immigration reform.
- At town hall meeting pushed for members of Congress to support immigration reform
- Organized with allies, several rallies and marches with no less than 1000 people at each
- Moved several legislators to support immigration reform.
- Our Immigrant Rights Small Business Committee met several times with legislators, to gain support for comprehensive immigration reform.
- Together with Familias Unidas, we organized a national 2 day call-a-thon that generated more than 1000 calls asking that Speaker John Boehner support immigration reform
- Participated in several civil disobedience rallies in DC and been arrested for the cause
In North Carolina, Action NC members were instrumental in ensuring that the anti-immigrant sections of the RECLAIM NC Act (H.R. 15) did not pass. In Charlotte, we were the only group who organized information sessions to educate the community on all sections of the bill. After we heard that the community was resoundingly against H.R. 15, our members organized several phone banks and participated in legislative lobby days in Raleigh to let legislators know the community did not support the H.R. 15.
But, our work is not done. With the 2013 Congressional Legislative Session soon coming to a close, we are looking to 2014 to FINALLY make immigration reform a reality for the 11 million families being hurt by our broken immigration system. Our members also plan on working toward ensuring the right to drive for all North Carolinians, including the undocumented. In Charlotte, are members will be valuable stakeholders in the newly formed Immigration Task Force.
We need your help to make all this happen. Please make a donation, to make sure that all this great work continues. Only together can we make a real difference.
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