Reform Immigration for America's Caravan Arrives in Buffalo.

This week on Radio Civil Liberties:

Reform Immigration for America's road trip for real Comprehensive Immigration Reform made its scheduled stop, on-time and on message in Buffalo, the Queen City of the Empire State. On February 15th more than a dozen New Yorkers began the five-day road trip across New York State to call for action on tre comprehensive immigration reform.

The caravan, dubbed the "New York Road Trip for Our Future", stopped in key towns and cities across the state: New York City, Carmel, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Sodus, Pittsford, Greece, Batavia, Buffalo, Ithaca, and Brooklyn.

Rolling into a Noon Press Conference at Buffalo's Landmark First Presbyterian Church across the street from the legendary Kleinhans Music Hall. The red hot energy from the caravan's travelers was a marked contrast to the cold Buffalo New York winter day.The weary but no less inspired travelers were greeted by local friends and allies from Hispanics United of Buffalo, the Network of Religious Communities, the Western New York Peace Center, Citizen Action, the International Institute of Buffalo as well as the New York Civil Liberties Unions's Western Regional Office

This action was part of the first-ever caravan across the state to demand legislative action on Comprehensive Immigration Reform.Amid growing frustration in immigration communities
that President Obama and Congress have not yet delivered on the promise of immigration
reform, residents of New York State, from NYC to Saratoga Springs to Buffalo, coordinated a statewide caravan to mobilize diverse sectors and press New York's Legislators and President Obama to enact federal immigration reform. 

On hand for opening remarks was NYCLU Regional Director, John A. Curr III, who was followed by the iconic Executive Director of Hispanics United of Buffalo, Lourdes Iglesias, the oldest and largest Hispanic advocacy organization in Western New York. Ms. Iglesias was followed by the always-inspiring words of the animated Rev. Deacon Jim Anderson, from the Network of Religious Communities and Citizen Action. Rev. Anderson also is the Chair of the WNY Peace Center.

As if inspiration enough wasn't felt from the opening speakers, the voices of the caravan travelers found deep connection among the diverse crowd that attended the press conference and small rally. The first young man to speak from the travelers contingent was Osman Canales. In a style that was uniquely his own, Osman delivered a riveting account of his very personal
journey as a first generation American forced into coming of age in a single parent household because of the cruel deportation of his father, his family's sole provider, when he was just an infant. Following Osman, was Yasmine Farhang, a first generation Iranian-American who shared her outrage at living in a comfortable community of familial acceptance, only to watch the indignities of an indifferent bureaucracy that held her family in contempt during an immigration process that lasted years and visited countless petty humiliations upon her parents. 

The caravan speakers concluded with the insight of Kevin Kang, a Korean -American who gave his insight into growing up in an immigrant community in New York City. Concluding the events, the group heard from Gabriela Villareal, of the New York Immigration Coalition who thanked so many for welcoming the caravan to Buffalo and announced a mobilization to bring 100,000 Americans to Washington D.C. for the March for America, March 21st Rally in support of Immigration Reform. She further challenged Buffalo, NY to send 2000 to the nations capital, which received a standing ovation from the crowd. 

Kudos' go to Ms. Lourdes Iglesias of Hispanics United ofBuffalo for pledging to personally commit 200 people from the ranks of her organization. Winding up the affair was, Martiza Vega, who displayed symbols of the region-Chicken Wing Hot Sauce (!) and an apple that she was personally going to deliver to New York State's Senators, in addition to so many of the other symbols of support that she had gathered across the caravan's travels throughout the Empire State.So many people to thank for the inspiring events of the day, especially, the Rev. John Long and the First Presbyterian Church, Gabriela Villareal of the New York Immigration Coalition and Corinne Rosen, the regional organizer for Reform Immigration for America.

We're looking forward to seeing everyone -and more -on that trip for justice to our nations's capital, the March for America, on March 21st. 

Find out More, Become Involved and join us for Real Reform:  

Call-In Day for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Our nation's immigration system is broken!
There is a human rights crisis in New York and across the United States -- immigrant homes are raided; hundreds
of thousands of people are detained, some indefinitely, in inhumane conditions and without access to medical care; and unscrupulous employers prey on the undocumented.
Our immigration system is so flawed that even documented immigrants regularly suffer from many of these problems.

The situation is too dire to continue to ignore.
Congress must adopt practical solutions that fix our immigration system and uphold our nation's values. All Americans' rights and liberties are at stake.

Today we are asking each of you to take a moment and contact your elected officials-specifically, Congressmen Brian Higgins and Christopher Lee:
Brian Higgins:
Erie County Office:
Phone: 716-852-3501
Fax: 716-852-3929

Chautauqua County Office
Phone: 716-484-0729
Fax: 716-484-1049
or Via email here 

Chris Lee

Erie County
Phone: 716.634.2324
Fax: 716.631.7610 

Genesee County
Phone: 585.663.5570
Fax: 585.663.5711

For more information,
Contact the Western Regional Office of the NYCLU at 716.852.4033
or via email here and visit

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Voices from the Community: Immigration Reform.
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