Letter to the editor: Immigration Reform Now rally May 1

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To the editor:

Join us May 1 in Des Moines to tell the Biden Administration that we are 100 days in and immigration reform is long overdue.

The Immigration Reform Now march and rally is an action in support of legislation introduced by President Joe Biden, Senators and Congressmen that seeks a path to
legalization of more than 11 million people, including people with DACA, TPS and essential workers.

At 100 days in, President Biden has done away with many of Trump’s harmful policies and practices, reverting to much of what we had under Obama. Immigrants and immigrants rights activists welcome some of these changes but know it is not nearly enough.

We want to acknowledge the positives that have happened in these 100 days but also acknowledge that President Biden has not fulfilled his promises. We wan to and point out the harmful actions that have occurred: Detention centers are still separating families, and we’ve even seen the reopening of facilities previously closed. We have seen unnecessary increases to CBP and ICE funding and the deportations continue.

We have six demands for the Biden Administration and Congress:

  1. Pass the American Citizenship Act (H.R. 1177/S. 348). This proposal would create an eight-year path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented folks, and it would broaden legal immigration avenues and reduce visa backlogs among other provisions. It also includes funds for the construction of a “smart wall” at the southern border. #NoWallsNoCages
  2. Pass the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6). This bill would make DREAMers, TPS holders and DED holders eligible for permanent residence. DREAMers were brought to the US as children, an many call this country home and are working to accomplish their goals and dreams in this country.
  3. Pass the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act (H.R. 1909/S. 747). This bill will establish status for undocumented essential workers as defined and create a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 5 million undocumented workers and their families.
  4. Pass the SECURE Act (S. 306). This would create a pathway to citizenship for TPS holders.
  5. Stop deportations. Biden promised to put a halt on deportations. Even though his moratorium on deportation has been halted by a Texas court, his agency, ICE, can still decide not to deport people.
  6. End the Trump-ERA Title 42. Biden promised to “end Trump’s detrimental asylum policies.” Title 42 was created by Trump and Stephen Miller to prohibit families from seeking asylum in the U.S. during COVID-19.

Immigration Reform Now is not a political issue but a matter of humanity. It’s time to be bolder than we’ve ever been. Ending Trump’s policies is a positive step, but it is not enough.

The Saturday, May 1 Immigration Reform Now event hope to bring together our entire immigrant community — with or without documents — and our allies in solidarity calling on Biden and Congress to act now!

The march will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at 1514 E. Grand Ave. in Des Moines and will proceed to the Iowa State Capitol at 1007 E. Grand Ave. for a noon rally. Please wear a face mask and carry only American flags.

Latinx Immigrants of Iowa is the organizer of the Immigration Reform Now event, with support from LUNA Latinas Unidas por un Nuevo Amanecer, Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Prairielands Freedom Fund, LULAC Council 307, Iowa CASA Iowa Coalition against Sexual Assault, CCI, MMJ Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice, Latino Political Network and Iowa City Catholic Worker.

Our media partners include Hola America, La Prensa Hispanic Newspaper, El Heraldo Hispano, El Trueque Iowa, El Enfoque Newspaper, La Q Buena, La Raza 1490AM 95.7FM, Que pasa Iowa? and El Viento Iowa.

Jose Alvarado, director of Latinx Immigrants of Iowa
Des Moines

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