A group of individuals from more than 20 states got together in Washington D.C. recently to protest the lack of progress being made with immigration reform. The group was comprised of about 80 immigrants and immigration activists and demanded that Speaker of the House, John Boehner show some “courage” and finally approve immigration reform.
The group brought cardboard medals which had the word “courage” written on them, hoping to get a point across to Boehner. The activists also wore these cardboard medals throughout the protest. The group proceeded down the halls of Congress before leaving the symbolic medallions with Boehner.
The movement was organized by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), an immigrant advocacy group that works towards ending deportations. By ending deportations and fixing the immigration system, families will no longer be torn apart.
This protest was a sort of kick-off event to even more activities. FIRM members had gathered in D.C. to hold a summit on immigration reform that would be spread out over a couple of days. The summit was referred to as the “Keeping Families Together Summit” and the group made a point to say that the summit was being held around the same time that there have been nearly 2 million deportations under President Barack Obama and his administration. One of the main topics of the summit will be coming up with “new strategies for the immigration movement,” said a FIRM spokesperson.
Along with coming up with new strategies related to immigration reform, FIRM has a couple other rallies scheduled during that time in parts of Maryland. These protests will promote FIRM and draw attention to their worthy causes.
On its website, FIRM describes itself as a “national coalition of grassroots organizations fighting for immigrant rights at the local, state, and federal level.” The organization is made up of 30 additional entities that are “committed to immigrant rights from across the country.”
FIRM has been around since 2000, and continues to work towards a handful of basic goals:
- Help local immigrant rights organizations to become increasingly powerful voices for their communities.
- Support and organize youth leadership in our communities to give the next generation of immigrant community leaders a collective national voice.
- Facilitate cross-cultural alliance building among America's diverse immigrant communities and native-born low-income and people of color communities.
- Contribute to our democracy through deep political education and increases in the number of immigrants who achieve legal status and who become citizens and voters.
- Provide tools, information and strategic assistance to local organizations to make positive policy changes at the local, state and national levels.
- Create opportunities for immigrant community leaders from around the nation to learn from one another, help each other overcome obstacles and aggregate their collective power.
If you are facing immigration issues, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced and local immigration attorney. Immigration laws, procedures, and policies are complex and nuanced. An immigration professional will listen to the facts of your case and will help you through the legal process.