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Keeping Families Together

Massachusetts Families, Community Leaders Announce Plans to Win Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013, Boston, MA

By Molly Jou

Media Relations, AsianBoston Media Group

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Today at Boston City Hall, labor, faith, and government leaders and immigrant representatives gathered to announce the launch of a new campaign: Comprehensive Immigration Reform. By the name of “Keeping Families Together,” the goal of the campaign is to reduce the backlog of visa applications. Moreover, to provide equal rights to immigrants who are here in the U.S.

The press conference was hosted by Eva Millona, the Executive Director of Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition. Being the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees, MIRA Coalition is the sponsor of this press conference. Eva first introduced Rosmery Abigail Hernandez, a nineteen-year-old Honduran immigrant, as the speaker of the day. Rosmery told everyone her story of being apart with her family. She experienced difficulties pursuing her dream due to her visa status. However, Rosmery is also one of the immigrants who were benefitted by the release of this reform proposed by President Obama and eight bipartisan US Senators. Now that Rosmery is going to North Shore Community College and studying to be a teacher, she is grateful for the opportunity and a promising future.

Following Rosmery’s personal story, Burns Stanfield, President of Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, shared his thoughts from a religious point of view. Burns mentioned that this immigration reform is not only political, economical, but also a moral thing to do. In attendance was also Rahsaan Hall, Deputy Director of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Rocio Saenz, President of SEIU Local 615, and Felix G. Arroyo, Boston City Councilor –at-large. Each of them expressed concern for immigrants and how they should be treated equally as US citizens. Ever Barrera, a Salvadoran immigrant, shared his story at the close of the press conference. He wanted to join the army like his father did back home. He was not qualified here because of he is not a US citizen. Life is difficult for Ever, but he doesn’t want to go back home. “We really need this immigration reform,” said Ever.

As an international student in the US, I understand how Rosmery and Ever feel about the launch of this campaign. Although Hispanic is the biggest ethnic group, other ethnicities will also profit from this reform. Immigrants coming to the US are becoming more influential. Comprehensive Immigration Reform is not only a protection to foreigners but also Americans. It is everyone’s effort to make CIR possible.

For more photos, visit https://plus.google.com/u/2/photos/102113786662651596840/albums/5845225305955319153?authkey=CM_i0e6lnP2H3wE