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Immigration Reform Possible-CDIR

by Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 at 7:40 AM
epcc_la@hotmail.com 213-241-0995 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

The Coalition in Defense of Immigrant Rights (CDIR) based in Los Angeles learned through immigrat rights sources that immigration reform can happen during the Obama adminstration. After two failed attempts in 2006 and 2007, immigration reform could finally be pushed through both houses of the US Congress starting in September, civil rights activists said. "We are confident and very optimistic that there’s likely to be a big window of opportunity between September 2009 and March 2010,” America’s Voice pro-reform group director Frank Sharry said in a telephone conference. As he spoke another immigrant rights conference is being planned in February in Chicago, Illinois. Immigrant Rights This was confirmed by the CDIR-USA Coordinator Arturo P. Garcia from People's CORE.

CDIR Update 101

January 18.2009

U.S. immigration reform could happen in September: activists hopes

Los Angeles. —The Coalition in Defense of Immigrant Rights (CDIR) based in Los Angeles learned through immigrat rights sources that immigration reform can happen during the Obama adminstration.

After two failed attempts in 2006 and 2007, immigration reform could finally be pushed through both houses of the US Congress starting in September, civil rights activists said. "We are confident and very optimistic that there’s likely to be a big window of opportunity between September 2009 and March 2010,” America’s Voice pro-reform group director Frank Sharry said in a telephone conference.

As he spoke another immigrant rights conference is being planned in February in Chicago, Illinois. Immigrant Rights

This was confirmed by the CDIR-USA Coordinator Arturo P. Garcia from People's CORE.

Group Ready

“I think that would be a good time simply because there are no federal elections going on, and beyond that, it is really important for us to get this really done at a time when we do not have huge immigration rhetoric going on around the nation,” said Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archbishop Roger Mahony, an ardent immigrant rights advocate.

Meanwhile, Janet Murguia, president of La Raza, the country’s main Hispanic lobby group, was hopeful immigration reform would be approved during the 111th Congress that started last week. After the November 4 general elections, Democrats are comfortably in control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The last immigration reform proposal in 2007 sailed through the House but stumbled in the Senate, where it came up one short of the required two-thirds or 60 vote majority. Some 12 million illegal immigrants live in the United States, most of them from Latin America, making Hispanics the largest minority group in the country

Living and working conditions for illegal immigrants have worsened under the strict controls and rules of the Department of Homeland Security, which President George W. Bush created after the September 11, 2001 attacks. In any case, “migration reform starts with President Obama’s leadership,” said Sharry referring to president-elect Barack Obama who will take over from Bush at the White House on January 20. “

When the president is ready, we will be ready,” said National Immigration Forum director Ali Noroani also referring to Obama. The last, failed immigration reform legislation in 2007 would have given legal status and a path to citizenship for all illegal immigrants. The latest immigration bill failed largely because of widespread disagreement among its sponsors, the rights activists concurred at the telephone press conference.

Murguia said a lot of the work for immigration reform has already been completed inside and outside Congress. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid on Wednesday presented his legislative agenda for the new Congress and said immigration reform was one of its top ten priorities.

Since we are in a vacuum now with the immigration reform,” said Mahony, “what is happening is that all this piecemeal that is being passed all across the country by cities, counties, states, is extremely unhelpful. “It is creating division and fear.”

Public Housing Bans Immigrants

In a related development, a government study reveals that hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are stealing away housing benefits from citizens. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, some 29,570 people, or 0.4 percent of all those in federally funded housing are “ineligible non-citizens.”

This means that undocumented aliens live in public housing while many legal residents are stuck waiting years for a spot. Illegal immigrants make up a tiny portion of the 7.1 million people in federal housing. But authorities say there could be more. The “squatting” tenants may be visitors on temporary visas, such as highly educated professionals or college students.

The issue of illegal residency on public housing shot to national headlines when Zeituni Onyango, an aunt of President-elect Obama, who was found last November living in Boston public housing while in the country illegally. Obama’s father is a native of Kenya.

The federal government, which funds the bulk of the nation’s public housing, requires only that illegal immigrants share a home with at least one family member who is in the country legally and pay their share of the rent.

for more information about cdir contact Jerry Esguerra at ( 818)749 0272 or email at epcc_la@hotmail.com

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Nuevo Plan de Aztlan Ruben Botello Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009 at 11:48 AM

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