Free To Move,
Free to Stay

A NEW FRAMEWORK ON IMMIGRATION FOR PROGRESSIVES

Add your name if you believe we should all be Free to Move, Free to Stay!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

CONTACT
Bruna Sollod, bruna@unitedwedream.org, 202-850-0812

With A Reckless White House Increasing Harm to Immigrants and Asylum Seekers,

PROGRESSIVE GROUPS CALL ON 2020 CANDIDATES TO BACK NEW IMMIGRATION PLATFORM


Washington, DC – Eight organizations from the immigrant justice and progressive movements announced its Free To Move, Free To Stay: A New Framework on Immigration for Progressives, setting a new standard for Democratic presidential candidates on immigration if they hope to appeal to immigrant, Latinx, and voters of color before the primary season officially begins.

There are daily reports of abuse, mistreatment, and even deaths of immigrants and children held in camps. After years of Trump’s family separation doctrine, kids kept in cages, sleeping on cold concrete floors with aluminum foil as blankets, progressive voters are disgusted by Trump’s racism and now demand a new president to stop the pain and lead the nation in a new direction — and they’re ready to help get that president elected.

The groups behind the new immigration platform are United We Dream Action, MoveOn, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Working Families, Sunrise, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Indivisible, and the Women’s March. Beginning this summer, these organizations are activating millions of their members to mobilize voters across the country. They will be meeting directly with the 25 presidential candidates, calling on them to back the Free To Move, Free To Stay platform, and urge them to explain how she/he will use their moral and executive authority to drive policymaking in a new direction that “helps people without hurting people.”

Below are remarks from leaders of the organizations and co-authors of Free To Move, Free To Stay platform:

Cristina Jimenez, Co-Founder and Executive Director of United We Dream Action: 
“The current immigration system has failed for decades, and Donald Trump is only making it worse for millions of us. This powerful coalition of progressive members rejects the failed policies that tear apart and criminalize immigrant families. We are mobilizing voters to elect a new president who shares these same principles as us, someone we can trust to solve the horrific and terrorizing immigration system that’s hurting immigrants and asylum seekers. The next president must inspire us with a vision and policies that ensure immigrants and refugees are welcome in this country and have the opportunity to thrive. We will not settle for less.”

Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action:
“For Jews, the experience of migration and exile is key to our history and our religious tradition. It’s time to change the question about immigration in this country from how cruel can our government be, to how compassionate? We are honored to join with other organizations to launch Free To Move, Free To Stay, an approach to immigration policy that elevates the voices of immigrant communities and demands from those seeking office new, creative approaches to building a more inclusive America where we are all safe and free.”

Rahna Epting, Chief of Program of MoveOn: 
“MoveOn members are looking to see 2020 candidates provide concrete, bold, and inspiring solutions to create an America that welcomes immigrants and asylum seekers with dignity and respect. We’re proud to be a part of the Free to Move, Free to Stay vision with United We Dream Action and national allies to inspire candidates to help our communities, without increasing enforcement.”

María Urbina, National Political Director of the Indivisible Project:
“We need a nominee who will embrace the immigration conversation with a people-first vision. Indivisibles are looking for someone with a specific plan that will protect and support immigrants, and they’re ready to do the work to elect the candidate who communicates that vision. We’re proud to unite with a powerful grassroots coalition behind the Free To Move, Free To Stay framework.”

Ana María Archila, Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy:
“Immigrants are working people, community leaders, parents and neighbors. It’s about time that we have a truly progressive vision of immigration policy that recognizes the contributions that immigrants make to our communities and to our country every single day. In the face of extreme attacks on immigrant communities from the Trump administration, we need candidates to stop the cruel and inhumane deportation approach used to criminalize and detain our families. Those who aspire to lead our country must present a vision of an inclusive society that supports the right of our communities to live and thrive. We cannot go back to the same old framework and expect to battle Trump’s racist agenda.”

Varshini Prakash, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Sunrise:
“Young people are deeply concerned about both immigration and climate change because we see the inextricable connection between the two issues and how they affect people’s lives. A full response to the climate crisis requires addressing the broken immigration system in this country — not with cages, walls, and deportations, but with open arms and a promise of the opportunity to thrive. The climate crisis is a test of our humanity. Our generation is looking for a President and a Congress who guarantees opportunity and safety for all by taking these issues seriously and understanding their intricate connection. We’ve helped to make the climate crisis a top political priority in this country and we are proud to mobilize our army of young people to fight boldly for this vision.”

Nelini Stamp, Director of Strategy and Partnerships of Working Families:
“We need the people running to lead our country in 2020 to show bold leadership on immigration right here and now. We’re in crisis. People are being locked up in cages. Families are dying on the border. Candidates who want support from progressives need to speak to the urgency of the moment and embrace a strong platform of decriminalization immediately. We can no longer wait.”

Rachel Carmona, COO of Women’s March:
“There is no quick fix to the inhumane, ineffective, and cruel immigration policies of this administration. For our constituents in affected communities and on the border, this crisis is not new. As the situation worsens due to Trump’s human rights abuses at the border, women and gender non-conforming people must be key leaders in bringing feminist policy solutions forward.”