Dear Friends,

The last month marked a monumental start for the upcoming 2013 immigration reform debate. Not only did President Obama and the Senate’s Gang of Eight release their respective blueprints, but a diverse group of national and state organizations gatheredin Washington, DC, on January 30 to work towards a roadmap to citizenship that is inclusive, promotes equality, and helps lift immigrants out of poverty.

We are heartened and inspired by the commitment to modernize our immigration system to reflect 21st Century reality, to provide a roadmap to first-class citizenship, and to ensure individuals are provided both the rights as well as responsibilities of citizenship. Ensuring that the 11 million aspiring citizens are able to fully participate in our society will strengthen our economy, treasury, and the health of our nation.

Today we are launching a campaign to promote equality and dignity for all within immigration reform by ensuring that aspiring Americans have access to affordable health care and nutrition assistance. We need immigration reform to reflect our values and recognize the contributions of immigrants as well as their humanity.

PLEASE JOIN US AND THE ORGANIZATIONS BELOW, plus over 300 organizations that have already taken action, by signing an Open Letter to President Obama and All Members of Congress asking that they ground their work in respect for the individual and recognition that ensuring access to health care and nutrition is not optional but a necessary investment that will benefit all of us. Immigration reform should require equal responsibility of all individuals living in the U.S. but also provide an equal opportunity to meet that responsibility.

SIGN ON TO A LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS

Our goal is 500 organizational signatures — so please share far and wide!National, state, and local organizations are welcome to sign on here. TheNEW deadline to sign on is 5 PM Pacific time, Wednesday, February 27.

ORIGINAL SIGNERS
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum ♦ Church World Service – Immigration Refugee Program ♦ CLASP ♦ Coalition on Human Needs ♦ First Focus ♦ National Immigration Law Center ♦ National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to join the campaign listserv, please contact Ellen Sittenfeld Battistelli (battistelli@nilc.org) or Jenny Rejeske (rejeske@nilc.org).