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Released 02 July 2007  By Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles

June 28, 2007


Urges House of Representatives to Take Leadership on Behalf of Immigrant Families

Los Angeles – This morning, the Senate voted 46-53 against cloture on S.1639 - the immigration reform bill - effectively ending further debate on the issue. Angelica Salas, Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), issued the following statement in response: “This morning, the Senate failed the American people by not moving forward debate on immigration reform. Our elected representatives are effectively saying to the American public that they are throwing their hands up into the air and refusing to deliver on their promise to fix our broken immigration system. Our elected leaders – people who are supposed to stand up on behalf of Americans – were bullied by a small contingent of hate-mongering anti-immigrants completely unrepresentative of the larger American public, which continues to call for just, humane and effective solutions.

“Only 12 Republicans and 34 Democrats voted to move the immigration debate forward, this though Republican leadership had promised to work with the other aisle to move forward real solutions. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who previously had pledged his commitment to pursue immigration reform, flip-flopped and voted no on cloture, clearly indicating to the American public, and immigrant communities specifically, that his party is willing to place politics ahead of the interests of the public.

“We must thank our California Senators – Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein – for pushing past the politics that have muddled the debate over the course of the last few months. Senator Boxer should be especially applauded for her commitment to ensuring that any immigration reform be just, humane, and responsive to the needs of the American people.

“Now, the House of Representatives has an opportunity to stand up and take action because, through inaction, the Senate has failed us. We need true and speedy leadership from our Congressional leaders, who cannot abdicate their responsibility to deliver just and humane immigration reform that will benefit all communities. As Californians, we look toward Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Zoe Lofgren, chair of the Immigration Subcommittee in the House Judiciary, for courageous leadership on behalf of their constituents. We call on all members of the California Congressional delegation to stand up on behalf of immigrant families, because it is the right thing to do.

“The American public – and that public includes millions of immigrant families – will not settle for inaction from leaders that WE have elected. The immigrant community - and millions of Americans who make up our movement - will not give up until we achieve our goal. We need just and humane immigration reform now!”

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