National “Family Unity” Immigration Event in San Jose

On April 18, San Jose’s faith-based communities join a national effort—spanning 20 major U.S. cities—to document the harm caused to citizens across our nation in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform. This will be the first event of the tour to highlight voices of the Asian Pacific Islander community, and other diasporic communities.

“These testimonials will be critical as President Obama builds his case for comprehensive immigration reform in May, which happens to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month,” said Rep. Michael Honda (CA-15), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). “At a national level, the voices of the Asian Pacific Islander communities are often left out of the immigration debate. I am looking forward to amplifying these voices on Saturday.”

As part of an unprecedented nationwide outreach tour, Rep. Honda will be joined by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-04), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Immigration Task Force and California’s religious community to spearhead the “Family Unity” outreach event in San Jose.

This national effort involves prayer vigils and town-hall meetings. At each event, U.S. citizens share testimony as to how their families have been or risk being torn apart by a broken immigration system.

Rep. Michael Honda (CA-15), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL-04), faith leaders and community members will join together at this event on Saturday, April 18, 2009, from 6:30 p.m., at St. Victor’s Church, 3108 Sierra Rd, in San Jose.

“Immigrant contributions have always driven America’s growth, and today’s economy presents no different a picture,” said Rep. Honda.

“Reuniting immigrant families will strengthen the American economy by increasing our tax base, decreasing the costs of social safety nets, and keeping money in the U.S. that would otherwise be sent abroad to loved ones. Hate and xenophobia are keeping us from doing what’s right for our nation. It’s time to enact immigration reform that makes sense for families and for our country.”

“Through this listening tour, I have been honored and humbled to join people of all faiths from coast to coast who are bearing witness to stories of human crisis caused by our broken immigration system,” said Rep. Gutierrez. “They are parents and children, husbands and wives who have been torn apart by a system that values fear over family values.
Through the Family Unity effort, US citizens are raising their voices for a better vision of America, and they are showing Washington just how serious the situation has become and how serious we are about changing it. I am proud to join the people of Salinas and San Jose as they stand up to show our leaders in Washington that immigration is not an abstract policy debate — but a pressing moral crisis.”

The Family Unity outreach tour has already visited Providence, RI, Atlanta, GA, Albuquerque, NM, Ontario, CA, San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Phoenix AZ, El Paso, TX, Dallas, TX, Mission, TX, Chicago, IL, Joliet IL, Milwaukee, WI, Detroit, MI, Orlando FL, Miami, FL and Philadelphia, PA, where thousands of individuals have filled their community churches to capacity. They came forward to demonstrate the vast numbers of American families—from all political backgrounds and faiths—who demand change from a legal system that undermines family values.

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