Newsroom

  • Lizette Escobedo
  • Apr 22, 2014 6:30 AM

Mi Familia Vota Ed Fund Helps Grow Latino Civic Participation at April 26 “Citizenship Day” Events

For Immediate Release

April 22, 2014

Contact: Lizette Escobedo lizettee@mifamiliavota.org (858) 583-5014

Mi Familia Vota Ed Fund Helps Grow Latino Civic Participation at April 26 “Citizenship Day” Events

Mi Familia Vota Ed Fund to host citizenship workshops in key Latino states

PHOENIX, AZ -- The path to the White House goes through the Latino community, and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and partners are helping engage Latino and immigrant communities by holding U.S. citizenship workshops across the country as part of a national “Citizenship Day” on April 26.

 

Mi Familia Vota Ed Fund (MFVEF) workshops provide assistance to legal permanent residents who are eligible for naturalization. Workshops will be held in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Texas, as part of “Citizenship Day” events. MFVEF most recently held assistance workshops in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ, where 200 LPRs were assisted with their citizenship applications.

 

“More than ever, the Latino community is recognizing the importance of participating in the civic affairs of their communities and of holding politicians accountable to their promises to represent everyone in their districts. The greatest way to do that is by becoming a citizen and earning the right to vote. The vote is the great equalizer in our democracy,” said Ben Monterroso, Executive Director of MFVEF. 

 

These citizenship drives around national “Citizenship Day” are occurring across the country at a time when the Latino and immigrant communities grow more frustrated with Congress’ refusal to pass an immigration reform law with a path to citizenship for immigrants without proper documents. However, immigrants who are eligible for citizenship can lend their voices to our democracy by going through the naturalization process and earning the right to vote.

 

“With current application average processing times of 5-6 months, New Americans can naturalize in time to vote this November and help send a message to politicians in this year’s election and in the 2016 presidential election, that our issues must be dealt with. The days of ignoring Latinos are fading away,” Monterroso added.

 

As part of MFVEF’s partnership efforts with the NALEO Ed Fund, during the recent workshops in Arizona, applicants held up signs that read, “For me, citizenship means __________,” which allowed participants to personalize their responses and post on social media.

 

Currently, there are about 13.3 million legal permanent residents in the U.S. and 8.7 million of them are eligible for citizenship. The number of new Americans eligible to naturalize grew from 7.8 million in 2009 to 8.7 million in 2012. California, New York, Texas and Florida have the largest numbers of immigrants who are eligible to become naturalized citizens.

 

Once new Americans become citizens, the next step in the civic engagement process is voter registration. In 2012, 757,434 people naturalized and became eligible to vote. Naturalized Latino citizens are more likely to cast ballots than native born Latinos and increasingly, the share of Latino voters is becoming large enough in some House districts and states to influence the outcomes of key elections.

 

To apply for U.S. citizenship, applicants must: be a legal permanent resident for 5 years (3 years if married to a U.S. citizen), and have a good moral character. Documents and information needed to fill out the citizenship application include: Driver’s license or state-issued ID, Permanent Resident Card, Social Security Number, and any relevant information regarding previous marriages, children, and travel history. 

 

The workshops will include assistance with the naturalization process including review of application, consultation with qualified immigration legal experts, and study materials for the naturalization exam. Among groups partnering with MFVEF on these efforts are the NALEO Educational Fund, the New Americans Campaign, organizations from the National Partnership for New Americans, local immigrants rights coalitions, and Spanish language media partners.

 

For more information on citizenship events, visit www.mifamiliavota.org or www.yaeshora.info or call (888) VE-Y-VOTA / (888) 839-8682.

 

On Twitter: @MiFamiliaVota #HazteCiudadano

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  • Sigourney Nuñez
  • Apr 18, 2014 7:24 AM

Las Vegas Sands Corp Chief Decries Political Inaction on Immigration Reform

For Immediate Release

April 18, 2014

Contact: Lizette Escobedo, lizettee@mifamiliavota.org, (858) 583-5014

Las Vegas Sands Corp Chief Decries Political Inaction on Immigration Reform 

Mi Familia Vota Applauds Michael Leven’s Call for Immigration Reform 

LAS VEGAS, NV -- During a recent interview with Spanish language television network Mundo FOX, gaming industry executive Michael Alan Leven said he does not understand how “the United States of America can have 12 million people sitting here and disregard them,” and urged immigration reform with path to citizenship.

Referring to the almost 12 million residents without documents in the U.S., Leven argued that anyone who does not have a criminal record, is working, paying taxes, should earn citizenship. “Let them be a citizen. What’s the problem? I don’t understand the problem,” Leven said, adding that the 13-year path to citizenship in the Senate-passed bill, S.744, is too long. 

Leven is President and Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) at Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd and is subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands LLC since March 11, 2009 and has also been its Secretary since June 2010. Leven has also done business in Mexico and Central America.

The hotel and casino executive was raised by immigrant grandparents from Eastern Europe who spoke broken English. That background, plus his extensive business dealings and work with immigrant employees, gives him a deep appreciation of the “immigrant philosophy.”

What he cannot understand is how immigrants survive in a political environment that ignores them.

“How do they (undocumented immigrants) live?” he wondered. “What do they say to their children when they think that they can be picked up on the street and be sent (to their country or origin) one day? I don’t understand how people do that and I don’t understand how the United States of America can allow that to happen.”

Mi Familia Vota Executive Director Ben Monterroso lauded Leven’s personal and direct assessment of the immorality of the current immigration system. 

“Mi Familia Vota thanks Mr. Leven for speaking up about such an important issue for our community and our families. We applaud his stance on immigration reform, his comments come at a time when our political leaders in congress refuse to take a human approach to the issue and instead use it for political posturing. It is wrong for Congress to do nothing while new Americans live in fear that they will be separated from their families,” Monterroso said.

“Time and time again we have seen that the business community understands the economic and human crises that exists now and the benefits that would come to our entire nation through immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Mr. Leven’s courage to speak the truth is commendable. As other key contributors to state and national economies like Mr. Leven continue to speak up about the need for a just and comprehensive immigration reform, we urge Congress to listen and act on what we all know is the right thing to do,” Monterroso added.

 

  • Sigourney Nuñez
  • Apr 16, 2014 11:40 AM

MFV Florida Partners with Orange Rising for Vote Local Campaign

MFV Florida Partners with Orange Rising for Vote Local Campaign

In an effort to encourage greater voter participation in local elections, Mi Familia Vota Florida partnered with Orange Rising- a coalition of more than 20 organizations behind the Vote Local campaign

Vote Local is currently mounting a public information campaign to ensure Orange County citizens can and will vote confidently in the upcoming August 26 and November 4 local elections and beyond. The primary goals of Vote Local reflects the mission of Mi Familia Vota

"We all know the Latino vote is the vote that changes the political landscape in Central Florida. We also know that historically, Latinos don't turn out the vote in mid-term elections. Mi Familia Vota Florida has joined the Vote Local campaign because we recognize that if Latinos can directly connect the issues that affect their every day lives with the local politics, where the real action takes place, Latinos won't sit this election out and in turn, we will make history," said Ana De La Rosa, Florida state director of Mi Familia Vota. 

For more information about Vote Local and Orange Rising, visit here

  • Sigourney Nuñez
  • Apr 15, 2014 5:20 PM

Mi Familia Vota Agrees with Mayor Castro and Says “Enough!” to Patrick’s Divisive Immigrant Bashing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 15, 2014

Contact: Mario Salinas, (713) 828-4512, Marios@mifamiliavota.org

 

Mi Familia Vota Agrees with Mayor Castro and Says “Enough!” to Patrick’s Divisive Immigrant Bashing 

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- The best and the worst of Texas politics were on national display today when esteemed San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro challenged the anti-immigrant rhetoric of state Sen. Dan Patrick. 

In a debate hosted by the Texas Tribune to be aired on Univision Spanish language stations in Texas, Sen. Patrick was forced to defend his hardline stance against immigrants that includes a frequent claim of an “invasion of immigrants coming across the Texas border.”

Mayor Castro, meanwhile, noted that Texas has prospered when state leaders from both political parties have taken a reasonable approach to immigration. The state’s labor force is 21.1% foreign-born and were behind 21% of the economic output in Houston metropolitan area in 2009. Providing a pathway to earned citizenship and expanding high and low-skilled visa programs would increase total personal income for Texas families by $15.2 billion in 2020, according to Regional Economic Models, Inc. The state’s housing, technology, agriculture, tourism and trade industries -- key to the economy -- would greatly benefit from immigration reform.

The following is a statement by Ben Monterroso, Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota: 

“According to local news sources, this debate came about because Mayor Castro had the courage to stand up to Sen. Patrick’s harmful and divisive comments and took to social media to say, ‘Enough!’ This debate could not be more timely in Texas, where the narrative around immigrants has never been more negative. We must ensure that our political leaders understand that this is not a political issue for our community and the country, it is a human issue and in many cases it is a personal issue. The moral values of our nation are being tested when the decision of whether are families stay together or are torn apart are left in the hands of politicians.

“The danger of politicians like Sen. Patrick is that they say outrageous things to whip up votes among the anti-immigrant voters in Texas, without paying any attention to the facts and the contributions that immigrants make to this state and the country.

 “Immigration reform is too important to the state’s economy and its people to be batted around for political sport, like Sen. Patrick who is willing to score cheap political points for expediency instead of doing what is the right and moral thing to do. Texas will be stronger when it is led by people who do not practice the politics of hatred and division.

“We see this debate as a prime example of what we need more of in Texas - elected officials standing up when the rhetoric crosses the line. The more backbone elected officials’ show, and the more meaningful conversations Texans can witness, the richer and more engaging the civic empowerment landscape will be for our state.

“We at Mi Familia Vota look forward to continue to increase Latino participation in Texas to ensure that we can elect leaders that not only respect our community but can lead on important issues like the economy, jobs, affordable healthcare, education, and most importantly, immigration reform. After all, civic engagement is not about any particular politician, it is about the future of our state and our country.”

  • Sigourney Nuñez
  • Apr 09, 2014 2:54 PM

Mi Familia Vota Nevada to Congress: America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform

For Immediate Release

April 9, 2014 

Contact: Benjamin Challinor, 702-812-1419benc@mifamiliavtota.com  

Mi Familia Vota Nevada to Congress: America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform

The Time Is Now to End Excuses and Move a Bill to House Floor 

RENO, NV -- Mi Familia Vota (MFV) and local immigration advocates today called on members of Congress to stop making excuses for inaction and do their jobs by passing immigration reform with path to citizenship.

During a press conference today, faith, labor and community leaders gathered in solidarity with the Fast for Families Across America campaign at Mi Familia Vota's Reno office coinciding with a rally in Washington, D.C. where the national caravan for justice ended its journey. While the tour and a 48-hour fast by the We Belong Together campaigns end this phase of the fight for immigration reform, MFV and Latino community groups have pledged to hold members of Congress who stand in the way of urgently needed reform accountable.

“We are letting Rep. Mark Amodei know that we are watching what he and Congress do. They can stand with us or against us, and in either case, we will make sure the Latino community knows the score” said Rosa Molina, Citizenship Program Director of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

“House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, has said he wants to bring commonsense immigration reform to the floor but has not acted. Other House Republicans have also said that the House needs to act -- enough to indicate that if a vote were held, a bipartisan majority would pass immigration reform. The majority party in the House must stand up and show leadership and do what is right for the country’s economy and families” added Benjamin Challinor, Northern Nevada Coordinator of Mi Familia Vota.

Members of Congress can get on the right side of this issue by signing a House "Discharge Petition" that would force a floor vote on HR 15, the bipartisan immigration reform bill, or offer a commonsense solution.

The Fast for Families campaign and the We Belong Together 48-hour fast were part of a national effort to shine a light on the moral and economic crisis created by our broken immigration system and to urge Congress to act this year to pass commonsense immigration reform.

The “Fast For Families Across America” tour traveled across more than 30 states, including Nevada, and to more than 100 congressional districts, engaging people from broad sectors of society including people of faith, business, law enforcement, immigrants, workers and community members in support of immigration reform.

The immigrants’ rights community transitions to a new stage in the fight for immigration reform, reminding Congress that the battle to keep families together, protect workers, and grow our economy is not over. The Latino community will keep speaking out for a fair and just immigration reform system until Congress does what’s right.

 

  • Sigourney Nuñez
  • Apr 08, 2014 5:19 PM

Pueblo Local Faith, Labor and Community Leaders Hold “Fast for Families” Solidarity Event, Urge Vote on Immigration Reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2014

Contact: Gabriela Morales, 719-334-0115

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Local Faith, Labor and Community Leaders Hold “Fast for Families” Solidarity Event, Urge Vote on Immigration Reform 

Local advocates and leaders to hold solidarity event with “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally in Washington, D.C.

Pueblo, CO – In solidarity with the “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” rally in Washington, D.C., Pueblo faith, labor and community leaders will hold a solidarity event calling on Rep. Scott Tipton to urge a vote on commonsense immigration reform.  

The “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally marks the transition to the next phase of the immigration reform campaign following the Fast for Families Across America Tour and the We Belong Together 48-hour fast. The goals of these two campaigns has been to shine a light on the moral and economic crisis created by our broken immigration system and to urge Congress to act this year to pass commonsense immigration reform.

The Fast For Families Across America tour traveled across more than 30 states, including Pueblo, Coloradoand to more than 100 congressional districts, engaging people from broad sectors of society including people of faith, business, law enforcement, immigrants, workers and community members in support of immigration reform. 

The fight for immigration reform is not over. The Latino community will hold our local members of Congress, including Scott Tipton accountable for inaction. They can get on the right side of this issue by signing a House "Discharge Petition" that would force a floor vote on HR 15, the bipartisan immigration reform bill, or offer a commonsense solution.

What:              Closing Vigil for Fast For Families Tour

When:             April 9th  at 8:15 pm    

Where:           Our lady of Mount Carmel Church. 421 E Clark St. Pueblo, CO 81003

Who:               MFV, CIRC, UVAS, Faith Group leaders from Mt. Carmel

 

 

  • Sigourney Nuñez
  • Apr 08, 2014 3:20 PM

Phoenix Faith, Labor and Community Leaders Hold “Fast for Families” Solidarity Event, Urge Vote on Immigration Reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 7, 2014                      

Contact: Raquel Teran 602-326-5854

                Tony Navarette 602-791-5907

 

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Local Faith, Labor and Community Leaders Hold “Fast for Families” Solidarity Event, Urge Vote on Immigration Reform 

Local advocates and leaders to hold solidarity event with “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally in Washington, D.C. 

Phoenix, Arizona – In solidarity with the “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” rally in Washington, D.C., Phoenix faith, labor and community leaders will hold a solidarity event calling on Representative Trent Franks and Matt Salomon to urge a vote on commonsense immigration reform.  

The “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally marks the transition to the next phase of the immigration reform campaign following the Fast for Families Across America Tour and the We Belong Together 48-hour fast. The goals of these two campaigns has been to shine a light on the moral and economic crisis created by our broken immigration system and to urge Congress to act this year to pass commonsense immigration reform.

The Fast For Families Across America tour traveled across more than 30 states, including Phoenix, Arizona and to more than 100 congressional districts, engaging people from broad sectors of society including people of faith, business, law enforcement, immigrants, workers and community members in support of immigration reform.

The fight for immigration reform is not over. The Latino community will hold our local members of Congress, including Matt Salmon and Trent Franks accountable for inaction. They can get on the right side of this issue by signing a House "Discharge Petition" that would force a floor vote on HR 15, the bipartisan immigration reform bill, or offer a commonsense solution.

What: Press Conference 

When: April 9th, 2014

Where: Primera Iglesia Metodista Santuary 701 S 1st Street, Phoenix, AZ 

Who: Mi Familia Vota, Promise Arizona, Service Employee International Union

 

 

  • Sigourney Nuñez
  • Apr 08, 2014 3:12 PM

Denver Faith, Labor and Community Leaders Hold “Fast for Families” Solidarity Event, Urge Vote on Immigration Reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2014

Contact: Derick Ruiz, 303-882-8343

***MEDIA ADVISORY*** 

Local Faith, Labor and Community Leaders Hold “Fast for Families” Solidarity Event, Urge Vote on Immigration Reform 

Local advocates and leaders to hold solidarity event with “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally in Washington, D.C.

DENVER, CO – In solidarity with the “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” rally in Washington, D.C., Aurora faith, labor and community leaders will hold a solidarity event calling on Rep. Mike Coffman to urge a vote on commonsense immigration reform.  

The “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally marks the transition to the next phase of the immigration reform campaign following the Fast for Families Across America Tour and the We Belong Together 48-hour fast. The goals of these two campaigns has been to shine a light on the moral and economic crisis created by our broken immigration system and to urge Congress to act this year to pass commonsense immigration reform.

The Fast For Families Across America tour traveled across more than 30 states, including Aurora, CO and to more than 100 congressional districts, engaging people from broad sectors of society including people of faith, business, law enforcement, immigrants, workers and community members in support of immigration reform.

The fight for immigration reform is not over. The Latino community will hold our local members of Congress, including Rep. Mike Coffman accountable for inaction. They can get on the right side of this issue by signing a House "Discharge Petition" that would force a floor vote on HR 15, the bipartisan immigration reform bill, or offer a commonsense solution

When: April 9th, 2014, 10:30 AM

Where: El Centro Humanitario

            2260 California St, Denver, CO 80205

Who: Mi Familia Vota, Together Colorado, Centro Humanitario

  • Sigourney Nuñez
  • Apr 08, 2014 2:11 PM

Houston Faith, Labor, Community Leaders, and Artists Hold “Fast for Families” Solidarity Event, Urge Vote on Immigration Reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2014

Contact: Mario Salinas, (713) 828-4512, marios@mifamiliavota.org

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Local Faith, Labor, Community Leaders, and Artists Hold “Fast for Families” Solidarity Event, Urge Vote on Immigration Reform 

Local advocates and leaders to hold solidarity event with “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally in Washington, D.C. 

Houston, Texas – In solidarity with the “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” rally in Washington, D.C., Houston faith, labor, community leaders and local artists will hold a solidarity event calling on Representatives Culberson, Poe, Olson, and McCaul, to urge a vote on commonsense immigration reform.   

The “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally marks the transition to the next phase of the immigration reform campaign following the Fast for Families Across America Tour and the We Belong Together 48-hour fast. The goals of these two campaigns has been to shine a light on the moral and economic crisis created by our broken immigration system and to urge Congress to act this year to pass commonsense immigration reform. 

The Fast For Families Across America tour traveled across more than 30 states, including Texas and to more than 100 congressional districts, engaging people from broad sectors of society including people of faith, business, law enforcement, immigrants, workers and community members in support of immigration reform.

The fight for immigration reform is not over. The Latino community will hold our local members of Congress, including Rep. John Culberson (TX-District 7), Rep. Ted Poe (TX-District 2), Rep. Pete Olson (TX-District 22), and Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-District 10), accountable for inaction. They can get on the right side of this issue by signing a House "Discharge Petition" that would force a floor vote on HR 15, the bipartisan immigration reform bill, or offer a commonsense solution. 

What: Press Conference in Solidarity with “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally in Washington D.C., and to urge local Congressmen for a vote on immigration reform.

When: April 9, 2014 Wednesday, at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Dominican Sisters of Houston 6501 Almeda Rd., Houston, TX 77021 

Who: Local faith, labor, community leaders, artists, and supporters

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  • Sigourney Nuñez
  • Apr 08, 2014 12:54 PM

Northern Nevada Faith, Labor and Community Leaders Hold “Fast for Families” Solidarity Event, Urge Vote on Immigration Reform

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

 Local Faith, Labor and Community Leaders Hold “Fast for Families” Solidarity Event, Urge Vote on Immigration Reform

Local advocates and leaders to hold solidarity event with “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally in Washington, D.C.

RENO, NV – In solidarity with the “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” rally in Washington, D.C., Northern Nevada faith, labor and community leaders will hold a solidarity event calling on Rep. Amodei to urge a vote on commonsense immigration reform.    

The “America Deserves a Vote on Immigration Reform” Rally marks the transition to the next phase of the immigration reform campaign following the Fast for Families Across America Tour and the We Belong Together 48-hour fast. The goals of these two campaigns has been to shine a light on the moral and economic crisis created by our broken immigration system and to urge Congress to act this year to pass commonsense immigration reform.

The Fast For Families Across America tour traveled across more than 30 states, including Nevada and to more than 100 congressional districts, engaging people from broad sectors of society including people of faith, business, law enforcement, immigrants, workers and community members in support of immigration reform.

The fight for immigration reform is not over. The Latino community will hold our local members of Congress, including Rep. Amodei accountable for inaction. They can get on the right side of this issue by signing a House "Discharge Petition" that would force a floor vote on HR 15, the bipartisan immigration reform bill, or offer a commonsense solution.

What: Press Conference

When: Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 11:00 am

Where: Mi Familia Vota, 164 Hubbard Way, Ste. B, Reno, NV 89502

Who: Community Leaders and Immigration Advocates

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