for immediate release
Contact: B. Loewe, NDLON, 773.791.4668,

 NDLON Reaction to Executive Action: The only se community is an organized one.   

In reaction to the President’s executive action on immigration, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON, issued the following statement:

“The President’s speech tonight is a testament to the power and determination of migrants who have refused to remain silent in the face of unprecedented hostility, bigotry, and injustice.   We will evaluate the new policy on the merits as details are made available, and we will judge its success or failure in the days ahead based on whether it helps or harms those who we know and love.   And we will take steps to defend any new protections, maximizing the number of people who will qualify, while we collectively pledge to defend those left behind.

Today is a day to take stock and give thanks for the labor, the courage, and the sacrifice of so many immigrants who have brought us to this moment despite enormous odds.   Migrant labor is often invisibilized and taken for granted in this country.  Particularly in recent years, there has been a profound violation of the social contract.  Migrants’ labor is accepted, but our humanity is denied, and there has been a war of attrition that seeks to make migrants sufficiently  miserable so they are forced to leave.  

This is true not just in the workplace, or in schools, or in jails, but in the halls of Washington DC, where immigrants’ role in defending and advancing the labor movement, the civil rights movement, and cherished constitutional values has been drowned out by politicians and lobbyists with partisan agendas.  

The country has gone through unprecedented challenges as immigration reform legislation has languished in Congress.  There has been xenophobic paranoia following September 11th,  a repulsive current of resurgent racism follow the election of our nation’s first black President, and we have seen a whole domestic human rights crisis unfold in Arizona and elsewhere that shocked the conscious of the world.   And despite all of this, millions of people stand on the verge of breathing easier tonight.   While still millions more stand to be left out.  

We expect xenophobes to unite in opposition to the positive portions of the President’s policy, and in support of the dangerous new initiatives that will further criminalize those who are left out.   As long as we continue to organize in defense of our communities, we can defend progress and withstand the attacks.  Our bottom-up unity will be stronger than the top-down efforts of those who seek to divide us. 

Our obligation is to keep organizing and no longer allow our story to be silenced or told by others.   Political equality, the essence of citizenship, can only be achieved when people speak up for themselves.  We aspire to live in a country with not one more deportation, and that ideal is possible despite not being politically feasible today.    And until our goal is realized, we will continue to organize and take whatever steps are needed, in Congress, outside the White House, in courts, or on the streets, in the enduring struggle to achieve full equality.”

Additional statements from immigrant rights leaders are available at
For a list of watch events, rallies, and protests, visit:


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