[COMM-ORG] immigration reform organizing

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Mon Mar 22 08:49:47 CDT 2010

From: "PICO National Network" <news at piconetwork.org>

What's Really At Stake: the American Dream

PICO's cross-country bus tour for comprehensive immigration reform is
approaching the final leg of its journey, en route to participate in
the "March for America: Change Takes Courage and Faith." This
historic event, which is taking place in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, is
anticipated to draw tens of thousands of people from across the nation.

Over the last four days, 50 + PICO leaders have been riding day and
night on their "Pilgrimage for Reform: Change Takes Faith and
Action."  Part of the mission of this journey has been to raise
awareness to what's really at stake when we talk about reforming our
country's broken immigration system: the American Dream of working hard
and creating a better life for our families.

At each stop along the way - San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Reno,
Salt Lake City, Denver, Kansas City, & Columbus - the PICO bus
riders have held rallies, press events and vigils to demonstrate the
urgent need for reform. At each of these events they shared their own
heartbreaking stories of the American Dream crashing down around them,
and their hope for a better world, where basic American values such as
human rights and family unity will be the priority.

Take Esperanza and her husband, who for 25 years worked hard,
oftentimes pulling double duty at two jobs, in order to give their kids
what they didn't have growing up - the opportunity to get a good
education and achieve their dreams and aspirations.

But all this came to a screeching halt when Esperanza's husband was
arrested at his workplace for being undocumented.  Despite a 2008
ruling in favor of allowing him to stay with his family - with the
judge stating: "This country needs more people like him" -
immigration officials successfully appealed the case, citing that he
did not have "extreme or unusual circumstances."

"Then what do you call this suffering?" asks Esperanza, who
has spent over $40,000 in legal fees to try to keep her family united.  
She now faces the challenge of raising her 12-year-old son and paying
off her mortgage all alone.

After listening to Esperanza's heartbreaking story during one of the
stops, a cameraman from a local TV station turned to one of the event
organizers and said that he was so moved by her story that he now sees
the issue of immigration in a new light.

PICO has been working for years to seed precisely these sorts of
"daily transformations of the heart," that build the base of
support necessary to reform our nation's broken immigration system and
keep alive the dream that has brought people to our shores for hundreds
of years.

Read an article about Esperanza's story at
http://capwiz.com/piconetwork/utr/1/MYYZMFWGHF/GDKFMFWMFG/4886924201, as 
well as the stories of other bus participants

Learn more about the "Pilgrimage for Reform: Change Takes Faith
& Action" bus tour at

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