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Press Release: Prominent Clergy, Labor and Community Leaders Tell Speaker Boehner: The Time is Now to Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform

CONTACT: Laurie Couch – 847-420-5108, Laurie.couch@ufcw75.org; Amanda Hoyt – 614-483-3168, ahoyt@faithinpubliclife.org

cute kidsSpringfield, OH – More than 500 people, including immigrant families, faith leaders and labor leaders, marched to Speaker John Boehner’s Springfield office today to call on him to immediately pass immigration reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship. The Springfield event was one of more than 130 events across the country as part of a national day of action to urge Congress to move forward with long-overdue reform.

Sponsored by Ohio Prophetic Voices, PICO National Network’s Campaign for Citizenship, Cincinnati Workers Center, SEIU, UFCW and IUE-CWA, the march featured prominent clergy, labor leaders and diverse people of faith urging Congress to recognize that fixing America’s broken immigration system is crucial for Ohio’s families and economy. Reform will put $4.6 billion in Ohioans’ pockets over ten years.

Faith leaders spoke out at the march about the moral principles at stake in the immigration debate.

“The time for political games and delays is over,” said Rev. Troy Jackson, Director of Ohio Prophetic Voices. “Immigrant families are torn apart every day while Congress sits on the sidelines. We’re not backing down until Speaker Boehner and Members of Congress heed the faith community’s demand for commonsense immigration reform.”

Rev. Mother Paula Jackson of the Church of Our Savior in Cincinnati said, “The Torah, the prophets, and Gospel all require us to welcome the immigrants who live among us. We are calling on Speaker Boehner to give Comprehensive Immigration Reform a vote: to bring hardworking people out of the shadows, to stop destroying the families of citizen children, and to provide a path to citizenship for people who are contributing to our society.”

Labor leaders and immigrants at the march spoke to the devastation caused by our broken system and the benefits of immigration reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship.

Marco Saavedra, a DREAMer and member of the DREAM 9, said, “Every day that Speaker Boehner and House Republicans fail to pass a path to citizenship, a staggering 1,100 families are torn apart by deportations. We can’t stand by and watch this occur any longer. I call on both Congress and the President to treat this like the moral outrage it is – starting with a just and fair end to the detention of the Dream30.”

“We call on Speaker Boehner to take action right now to pass commonsense immigration reform that will grow Ohio’s economy and protect its workers,” said Bill Dudley, Director of Strategic Campaigns at the United Food and Commercial Workers. “Reform that includes a road to citizenship is good for all Ohio workers — immigrant and native-born alike. That’s why labor leaders and the faith community stand together to demand that Congress get back to work on this urgent priority.”

The rally at Boehner’s Springfield office was a part of a National Day for Dignity and Respect targeting House members around the country, demanding that they pass comprehensive immigration reform. Immigrant families and faith and labor leaders will continue to urge the Republican-led House of Representatives to stop obstructing crucial reform and immediately pass a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.