ICYMI: Koch Network Mounts Grassroots Effort to Support Immigration
(Arlington, VA) – TIME magazine has published an article highlighting grassroots immigration efforts of The LIBRE Initiative. Below are excerpts from the piece.
Garza and a staff of more than 60 aides have worked to build credibility in local Hispanic communities by conducting workshops several times a week to help immigrants — here legally and those here not — to pass their drivers’ license tests. Other courses help immigrants earn their G.E.D., learn English or even citizenship because, as Garza tells it, “you can talk about economic freedom and building a free society but in the marketplace, but millions of Latinos in this case are shut out of the marketplace because they don’t have a drivers’ license, or speak the language or have a diploma.”
Whether it translates to progress, however, is still unknown. To this point, hardliners in the House have managed to repel efforts at broad change on immigration. Prospects for big legislation — especially with an election looming in November — are dim, and unrelenting negative coverage of the nation’s flawed immigration systems have moved few votes at the Capitol. The President ended protections for so-called Dreamers, the immigrants who came to the United States illegally as young children, and Republicans have not stepped in to reverse his order.
Even so, LIBRE officials were on Capitol Hill this week giving lawmakers warnings that they’re ready to make another push, especially with an eye toward coming high-profile court cases. Garza’s team of organizers and activists, active in 10 politically important states, is ready to start once again at turning goodwill in the Hispanic and Latino communities into action.
“They go to church with us. They are our schoolmates. They’re our colleagues at work. There’s so much at stake. We cannot give up,” Garza said, leaning on politics as a way forward, even in the face of consistent disappointments. “As frustrating as it is, this is our legislative process. The only ones who can bring a true, long-term solution to this is Congress. It’s their responsibility to do that.”
Read the full article at TIME magazine.
For interviews with a representative from the LIBRE Initiative, please contact Brian Faughnan, 202-805-1581 or Wadi Gaitan, 202-853-4463