RITA representative statement at Dallas press conference

Remarks by Douglas Interiano, Executive Director of Proyecto Inmigrante in Ft Worth and RITA representative, at a press conference March 19, 2010, in Dallas

Good evening, my name is Douglas Interiano and I am the executive director of Proyecto Inmigrante in Fort Worth. I am also a member of Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance, which goes by RITA. RITA is a statewide, multi-sector alliance formed in 2009 to build support for immigration reform.

Today, more than 300 Texans from El Paso, Austin, Dallas, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, all members of the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA), will travel to Washington, DC, by bus as the Texas Caravan for America.

The Texans will participate in the March for America rally on Sunday, March 21, 2010, which is expected to draw 100,000 participants from the four corners of the United States to the National Mall.

We are making this long, probably uncomfortable trip of 28 hours, spending our own money and sacrificing work time and family time because reforming the broken immigration system is urgent.

As immigrants and friends of immigrants, we want to send a clear message to President Obama, his administration and our elected officials to show leadership on comprehensive immigration reform.

We are frustrated that promises are not being fulfilled on this subject. Politicians have used immigration reform as a political punching bag for too long. We need to remind them that real people, families, children are at stake here.

We cannot afford to wait any longer to resolve the situation of millions who are living in the shadows of society instead of contributing fully to their adopted country. We must help employers connect legally with workers who want to work. And we owe it to children who came through no fault of their own to this country to give them the education and the future that any child deserves. Immigrants have made Texas a great state throughout its history. We cannot turn our backs on immigrants now.

But the fight for immigration reform is about much more than immigration. It’s about leveling the playing field and securing good paying jobs for all workers. It’s about helping us out of this economic crisis by increasing the tax base, allowing immigrants to contribute fully. It’s about security –national security, border enforcement and community safety. And, it’s about living up to our best values, not stooping down to our worst instincts.  Immigration reform is good for the economy, for security, and for families.

Thank you, Y Buen Viaje!

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