The UFW Foundation arranged a call with Rep. Gutierrez on 10/26 to discuss the state of CIR and how our groups can make sure it passes this time. Already I can see how different things are this time – we are so much more nationally organized as evidenced by the call where we were able to connect with folks from California, Washington state, Washington DC, Florida, New York and Oregon.
Rep. Gutierrez gave us 2 main points to remember:
1. If we ever let the thought creep into our minds that we will not get CIR passed, we have already lost. We need to be endlessly optimistic and just as endlessly strong in the fight toward success!
2. We all need to continue to be the voice that is fighting hard for CIR and most importantly, show the urgency in the NEED for immigration reform.
Gutierrez went on to say that he has high hopes that it will happen next year because he can see how well UFW is organized. In terms of strategy, we were specifically asked to work closely with Sen. Harry Reid from Nevada (Senate Majority Leader) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi from California (Speaker of the House). We will especially need their support if we want CIR passed. Gutierrez also cautioned us a bit on the phone: don’t take past support for granted, we will need to put pressure on all members of Congress to pass immigration legislation that’s humane and comprehensive in nature!
It’s so important for us to let the nation really see us, hear our stories, and understand our struggles. From here until March, we have the task of raising our voices and articulating the fact that CIR will help all families by making safer communities and all workers by strengthening labor rights and union organizing. We here at LUPE really believe that CIR will truly make America a better nation for all!
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