FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2014
PRESIDENTIAL ACTION ON IMMIGRATION SPARKS NATIONAL CONVERSATION ON HOW WE DEFINE “AMERICAN”
WASHINGTON, DC — In response to President Obama’s announcement of executive action on immigration, Define American released the following statement:
Today’s actions by the president, like presidents before him who have also acted on immigration, are a step towards embracing our heritage as a nation of immigrants and ending the suffering of millions. But the real shift can only come once culture embraces our immigrant past and welcomes the diversity in America’s future.
Every night millions of American children go to bed in fear that they will wake up and their parents will be missing. Parents and grandparents go to church, to work, to school, wondering if they’ll be taken from their families and communities, extinguishing their American dreams, and deporting them back to countries they left decades ago.
"I've been pledging allegiance since middle school to an American flag and government that have yet to recognize me, possibly until this very day” said Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Filmmaker (“Documented”), and founder of Define American. “While this step to ensure we can live with less fear is wonderful, the real shift cannot happen with any piece of legislation–it must come from a shift in culture. It must come from responsible journalism and a change in the way we view immigrants as a nation.”
Says Rev. Ryan M. Eller, the executive director of Define American: “Now that the president has taken action, other elected leaders have an opportunity to carve a new, more productive path forward concerning issues of citizenship in the United States. The President has acted, helping to secure his place in history and showing leadership for his party. Republicans have that same opportunity. In fact, congressional leaders now have an opportunity to drape themselves in our nation’s heritage as an immigrant nation and to act more boldly and with the permanence executive action can’t. In doing so, however, they must answer the most important message of our age: How do you define ‘American’?”
Thousands of people from across the nation are sharing the “pledge” symbol as a sign of unity and a reminder that as Americans, both documented and undocumented, we stand together in the fight for immigration fairness. That’s why at Define American, we are so excited that all Americans, whether they were brought here or born here, are using the pledge symbol to pledge anew to our country and show their support for immigrants on this pivotal day at defineamerican.com.
Participants of the “One of 11 Million” campaign (#1of11Million) and Define American’s leadership are available for interview.
For more information about the campaign or interview requests please contact:
Maria Cruz Lee / Director of Communications and Engagement, Define American
(347) 882-3225 / [email protected]