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Hispanic Officials Back Immigration Stance

WASHINGTON -- The National League of Cities' (NLC) Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO) enthusiastically endorses the actions taken by the NLC Board of Directors to recognize that immigrants have strengthened and will continue to strengthen our country and our communities in innumerable ways: socially, culturally and economically.  

HELO welcomes NLC's Board of Directors' voting in opposition to Arizona's immigration law and renewing a call for Congress and the Administration to immediately enact comprehensive immigration reform. The debate over the Arizona law demonstrates the urgent need for federal action on comprehensive immigration reform.  

The following is a statement from Sergio Rodriguez, President of NLC's Hispanic Elected Local Officials and Alderman, New Haven, Conn.

"These are very challenging times and it is important that we stand together in opposition of SB1070.  We must remember those most impacted by our response and be ever-cognizant that our responsibility as community leaders is to be agents of change and creators of opportunity.

"Let us work together to address this anti-immigration movement and work to improve opportunities for our Latino brothers and sisters across the country. As an NLC constituency group, we must work hard to support NLC's resolution on comprehensive immigration reform, advocating and lobbying to move Congress and the White House to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year."

HELO stands with NLC in supporting federal immigration reform legislation that contains the following key principles:

  • Providing greater border security and enforcement;
  • Recognizing the human and civil rights of both citizens and non-citizens;
  • Strengthening penalties against employers who knowingly employ undocumented workers;
  • Creating a program for the admission of temporary workers based upon the needs of the economy and over time qualifying for legal permanent residency;
  • Providing adequate fiscal support for city and state governments that are disproportionately shouldering the costs of the current broken immigration system; and
  • Establishing a process whereby the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United State may earn legalized status through payment of appropriate fees and back taxes, background checks, absence of criminal or gang activity, consistent work history, meeting English and civics requirements, and "waiting their place in line." 

HELO calls on its members to attend NLC's 2011 Congress of Cities conference in Phoenix as a show of support for Arizonaand to her cities that are opposing ethnic and racial profiling and to oppose legislation that creates unfunded mandates on cities and violates the civil rights of Americans.  HELO and its representatives will also participate in the strategic planning of the Congress of Cities to educate city officials on the importance of comprehensive immigration reform.

The Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO) constituency group was established by the National League of Cities in 1976 to serve as a forum for communication and information exchange among Hispanic local government elected officials and NLC colleagues. In addition to providing training and information services to its members, HELO also provides guidance to the NLC Board and to its policy committees on major public policy issues affecting the Hispanic and Latino communities.

 

 



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