Today, Pope Francis begins his historic visit to the United States.
The Papal Visit is a reminder of the important role that the faith community plays in supporting our nation’s immigrant communities and advocating for solutions that welcome new Americans and help them achieve their full potential. From Catholics, to evangelicals, to Muslim and Jewish community leaders, all agree: we need immigration reform now.
During this week, we expect Pope Francis to echo his welcoming and compassionate message, both in his addresses to Congress and to the United Nations, and in smaller meetings with the most needy within our communities.
This is an important opportunity for our political leaders to come together and understand the moral and social costs of policy decisions that all too often are reduced to soundbites and talking points.
Learn more about the coalition of faith leaders who stand strongly in support for fixing our broken immigration system here.
Tonight during the CNN GOP debate, we again saw that the anti-immigrant voices and candidates yelling for mass deportation have no serious interest in fixing our country’s broken immigration system, but they are very interested in glossing over the absurd, awful, and un-American consequences of that “plan.” To their credit, several candidates opposed this – but too many didn’t.
Moving forward, we hope that voters and reporters demand an answer each and every day to this simple question: what is each candidate’s plan to deal with the 11 million undocumented immigrants already living here, and should they be deported?
If you support mass deportation, then the American people deserve to know:
How you feel about removing millions of children from classrooms and worshippers from churches.
What sort of police-state should accompany your plan to arrest, detain, and deport roughly 30,000 people a day.
How you plan to pay $600 billion in direct costs and deal with an astronomical $1.7-$2.3 trillion dollar hit to the GDP.
How you plan to keep farms alive in this country when you remove at least 55% of the farmworkers in this country.
If candidates are asking for the American people to take them seriously, they must be willing to put forward serious solutions.
California has seen a large fallout over the politics of mass deportation
We present the Parable of Pete Wilson – a stark reminder of the dangerous politics of mass deportation. Among the political fallout after California passed the anti-immigrant Prop 187 in 1994:
With Latinos – the fastest growing demographic in the state – aggressively alienated by this tactics, they massively turned away from Republican party.
The congressional delegation went from 2 more Democrats in Congress in 1995 to 23 more Democrats than Republicans in 2013.
President Reagan’s home state, which previously elected Republicans in six straight presidential elections has been a lock for Democrats for two decades.
In 2012, Barack Obama won California’s 55 electoral votes by a 23 point margin.
Nationally, the current number of Latino voters is expected to double by 2030.
The State of the Race & Immigration Debate
Ronald Reagan himself understood the importance of immigration reform and the unique value add that immigrants give to our country: “They brought with them courage, ambition and the values of family, neighborhood, work, peace and freedom. They came from different lands but they shared the same values, the same dream.” – Ronald Reagan, (Labor Day Speech at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey)
Unfortunately since the last debate many GOP candidates have doubled down on mass deportation as a policy. This is unfeasible and unacceptable. Here’s what’s been said since the last debate:
Donald Trump recently said that his plan for mass deportation – and this means rounding up and removing talking 11-12 million undocumented immigrants plus the millions of US citizens he wants to send with them when he revokes the 14th amendment – would “take 18 months to 2 years if properly handled.”
Without providing specifics for how he would accomplish this – his recent comments have also sparked some of the most egregious policy suggestions from his fellow GOP contenders – who also offer little in terms of specifics.
Gov. Scott Walker compares Trump’s immigration proposal as similar to his own: “I haven’t looked at all the details of his but the things I’ve heard are very similar to the things I’ve mentioned,” the Wisconsin governor said on Fox & Friends.
This means rounding up and deporting roughly 25,000 to 30,000 people every single day – or deporting a population the size of Madison, Wisconsin every 10 days.
Governors Jeb Bush and John Kasich, as well as Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Lindsey Graham, have all publicly acknowledged the reality that we are not going to round up and deport 11 million people, and, therefore, that the federal government should ultimately implement a path toward legalization. We applaud those who stand up to Trump’s mass deportation plan and urge them to speak out against it.
But for those who have engaged in the politics of mass deportation – there is no backing down. These individuals need to be held accountable for their words and explain exactly what they mean, and how they plan to do it. “Good management” is not an acceptable answer. This debate, we want all participants to clearly define their position on mass deportation, and for those in favor of deportation to answer – How as President would they round up and deport the more than 11 million people living within our borders? Where would they send them? And what are the economic and humanitarian costs associated with this plan?
Those who wish to represent the American people as President should be willing to provide voters with a straightforward and honest answer to these questions tomorrow night.
Which Texas city is home to the most tech workers and hosts over a dozen Fortune 500 companies?
(Here’s a hint: It’s also home to our newest FWD.us chapter…)
The answer is, of course, Dallas. We’re thrilled to give our Texas presence a boost with the addition of a FWD.us Dallas chapter. The city boasts a diverse community that cares deeply about immigration reform. Passionate supporters and critically-thinking techies will be crucial in communicating the importance of immigration reform to local legislators.
This week, dozens attended our launch event held at coworking space The Grove. New chapter members mingled over hors d’oeuvres, followed by an introduction and political update by our Texas Chapter Director Nick Baker, volunteer leaders, and Chapter Founders Daniel and Cassie Stewart.
Thank you to all who attended and to our gracious hosts at The Grove! Check out pictures of the event below.