LOS ANGELES – Volunteers, voters, and invited guests watched early returns on a big screen at a community church in North Hollywood, California. After knocking on 19,162 doors in neighborhoods around Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, and San Gabriel Valley, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) had had its share of slammed doors and welcoming smiles all during the last few weeks before one of the most hotly contested mid-term elections in years. The following are comments by Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional, human and immigrant rights, not-for-profit organization based in Los Angeles.
“This election shows how important immigrants are to the advancement of democracy in the United States. Through our vote, most prominently in certain state and key races, we demonstrated that we are not willing to stand on the sidelines and be good spectators. Instead of cowering to threats and intimidation, immigrants have come out to help define the future of their families, their neighborhoods, and their nation.
During the past few months we have seen a concerted effort to try to intimidate, scare and demonize immigrants and Latino voters. Through our Get-Out-the-Vote volunteers we have met thousands of beautiful and civic-minded U.S. citizens who are also immigrants and not afraid to cast their vote. In story after story, especially of those voting for the first time, we have found inspiration and affirmation that Latino and immigrant voters will not easily be hushed or sidelined.
The most expensive mid-term election in years has come to an end and the real work for the new Congress begins today. Both parties now hold leadership in both houses of Congress and all elected officials have a responsibility to the American public to get to work and move our nation forward. On Tuesday, Latino and immigrant voters flatly rejected naysayers, abstainers, and obstructionists and chose instead bipartisanship, pragmatism, and results. We will be there to work hand in hand with both sides of the aisle to ensure our families and our nation is served well.”