The Struggle Continues for Immigrants' Rights

The following statement was issued by Centro Presente tonight in response to President Obama's speech announcing his Executive Action on Immigration:

Boston, MA-  We at Centro Presente celebrate with millions of undocumented families, the relief they now feel, after many years of living in fear and anxiety, at being able to come out from the shadows as a result of President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration. However we also lament the lack of political will in Washington to pass a true immigration reform and the pain and anguish among immigrant families resulting from the continued implementation of a system that deports families fleeing systemic violence and poverty in their countries of origin.

We congratulate those grassroots groups who have continued to hold the US government accountable for its immoral immigration system, and have successfully pressured the President to do what he has been capable of doing in the last year and a half since the Senate bill passed and House Republicans made it clear that they would not act on it. Although partial, this is a much needed victory on the part of those organizations that did not serve as enablers of inaction, but who truly spoke in the best interests of their community. Together we have brought much needed relief to millions of families who can sleep at night without fearing that an ICE raid may tear parents from their children.

But there are many for whom this Executive Action will bring no relief. For those parents of the Dreamers and DACA youth, for those that have come here in the past five years, for those who do not have citizen or permanent resident children and for those who do not want a transitional, temporal status that denies full participation in this society, we tell you that THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES! ¡LA LUCHA SIGUE!

In his speech President Obama twice referred to this nation as one of laws. Unfortunately, Congress does not seem capable of passing any of these laws. The prison industrial complex and those in search of cheap labor help to write these laws. The laws are applied differently depending on whether you work in the fields or you work on Wall Street. Our legal system and our moral compass are far out of sync. As long as we fail to address the root causes of immigration and our nation’s role in those causes, our laws will fail us. We still have far to go. We at Centro Presente call on the immigrant community and people of good conscience to join with us on this journey to a more just world for all of us.