On the Eve of Thanksgiving, Long Island immigrant families united to call for House Speaker John Boehner to schedule a vote on immigration reform and to keep families together.
On Wednesday, Long Island immigrants, advocates and community members came together for a Thanksgiving lunch and vigil to call for an end to the senseless deportations that are tearing more than 1,100 families apart every single day. A dinner table with empty seats honored those who are unable to celebrate the holidays with loved ones because of our broken immigration system.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, immigrant families from across Long Island came together to share how our broken immigration system has kept them separated from their loved ones. These families called on Speaker Boehner to schedule a vote for H.R. 15, a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform proposal, immediately.
“My aunt was deported 3 years ago and has not been able to see her 8 grandchildren and children. We miss her very much and would love to spend Thanksgiving with her this year,” said Paola Bernal, resident of Brentwood and member of Make the Road New York. “Today I am afraid that the same will happen to me and that this would be the last Thanksgiving that I spend with my 3 children. We urge Speaker Boehner to allow H.R. 15, the Congressional version of the Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill, to go up for a vote in Congress. Millions of families like mine are urgently awaiting this relief. My children and I cannot wait any longer to stop living in the shadows and in fear” she said.
“Thanksgiving is always a time for families and communities to come and spend time together,” said Ana Flores, resident of Brentwood, and member of New York Communities for Change. “Unfortunately many families in our community don’t have that opportunity and are split apart because of immigration. We’ve seen Republican leadership drag their feet the whole year and we urge Speaker Boehner to stop delaying and support Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”
Let us remember that the first Thanksgiving saw the Pilgrims and Native Americans put aside their differences and come together in celebration of the land that they called home. We’re calling on Speaker Boehner and the rest of the House to put aside their differences and to come together for comprehensive immigration reform so that our families can be reunited and can celebrate the holidays together.