FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AZ CIR Coalition press conference today to outline reaction to Senate immigration bill


Media Contact: James E. Garcia, 602-460-1374,

AZ CIR Coalition press conference today to outline reaction to Senate immigration bill

WHO: Arizona Comprehensive Immigration Reform Coalition
WHAT: Press Conference where members of the AZ CIR Coalition will provide detailed reaction to the U.S. Senate’s “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013”
WHEN: Today, April 17, noon to 1 p.m.
WHERE: El Portal restaurant, 117 W Grant St., in South Phoenix, AZ 85003-2430

(Coalition member statements below)

Promise Arizona members will lead a procession immediately after the press conference from Grant Park, next door to El Portal, to the doors of the Fourth Ave. Jail in downtown Phoenix. At the jail, immigrants’ rights supporters will demand an end to the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants in lieu of the ongoing debate on immigration reform.

NOTE: During the press conference, organizers will also announce details regarding a Community Town Hall scheduled to take place this Sunday afternoon in Phoenix. The town hall event is intended to provide a platform for immigrant families and others in the community to learn more about the details of the Senate’s proposal. More information to come.

Coalition Member Statements:

“The release of the Senate’s plan for reforming U.S. immigration policy is nothing less than historic, because it means the lives of this country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants and all Americans will never be the same,” said Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona. “We’re not happy with everything in the bill, but we’re glad Congress is paving a path to citizenship for the undocumented, and we plan to continue to work diligently in the coming weeks to guarantee the final bill unites immigrant families and respects their enormous contributions to our society.”

“We wouldn’t be where we are today on this issue if not for the message that Latino voters sent in November that we were tired of business as usual,” said Raquel Teran, statewide director of Mi Familia Vota. “Now that we have a Senate bill in hand, we intend to remind Congress every step of the way that we deserve to heard during the coming debate on a final language that Congress sends to President Obama.”

“I think particularly the Latino community has been holding its breath for the past few months,” said Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, a member of the AZ CIR Coalition. “Whether the bill is exactly what we wanted or not, thank God it’s here. Now we can finally begin to move forward.”

“Improving our work visa system and making more visas available would cut down on the number of people forced to overstay a visa or cross the border without documentation, and that would reduce the need to spend so much money further militarizing the border,” said Nic De La Fuente, co-director of the Workers Rights Center in Phoenix.

“Despite some real concerns about a number of key aspects of this immigration reform proposal, it’s important that the bill arrives on the President’s desk soon so that 11 million people no longer have to live in fear of deportation,” said Monica Sandschafer, director of Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA).

“We must approach the issue of immigration reform with the compassion and respect that immigrant workers and their families deserve, and the final bill should reflect that,” said Sandy Weir, organizer for the Arizona Immigration Ministry.


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