State of the immigration crisis rally

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Text by Sarah Phelan

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As President Barack Obama prepares to make his annual State of the Union address, local immigrant advocates are calling on Obama to mention the need for national immigration reform in his address and to uphold campaign promises to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Describing themselves in a press release as "a diverse group of African, Asian, European, and Latino immigrants" the organizers of today's protest rally, (from 4-6 p.m at the Federal Building at 7th and Mission Street, thunder and lightning notwithstanding) promised to urge Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Feinstein and Boxer to make immigration reform a priority because of local crises in the immigrant communities.

“The time for reform is now," Eric Quezada, Executive Director of Dolores Street Community Services, said in a press release. " The President promised immigration reform on the campaign trail and we are here today to make sure that he keeps his word,”

Quezada noted that Obama pledged on his 2008 campaign campaign trail to pass humane changes to US immigration laws if he were elected President, including a legalization program for undocumented immigrants.
“Immigrants are part of the fabric of our communities, and we need to fix our immigration system so everyone who lives here can contribute as full members of society,” said Biniam Fantay with the African Advocacy Network.

Today's demonstration is part of “100 days of action” campaign for immigration reform that began in December and is led locally by the SF Immigrant Legal and Education Network and the San Francisco Organizing Project.