By Mario Conde
A forum on immigration took place last Wednesday sponsored by the Committee on Diversity and Equity and spoke in length about Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s bill proposal Immigration Reform for American Security and Prosperity. President Barack Obama said on his State of the Union Address that the United States needs to fix its “broken immigration system” and said this reform will secure the borders, make sure the laws are applied, and a welcome to those who can contribute with the economy and enrich the nation.
One of the speakers that evening was Enrique Morones founder of Border Angels, a non-profit organization created in 1986 with more than 1,000 volunteers who try to prevent unnecessary deaths of people who cross the border through the Imperial Valley desert and the mountain areas of San Diego. Border Angels have various stations around the desert were food, clothing, and water is provided to reduce the numbers of deaths at the border. Morones said that since operation Gatekeeper started in October 1994 more than 10,000 men, woman, and children have died tragically trying to cross the border. Those deaths have been caused due to the high temperatures and some are results of racial crimes, according to Morones.
Morones said that this immigration reform has to be passed by the spring or this proposal will not have a chance to pass during the administration of Barack Obama.
“Every day we don’t have an immigration reform someone dies trying to cross the border.” Morones said.
Morones said that the immigration reform needs to be a bi-partisan and criticized the Republican Party for going to the extreme right and holding a racist mentality. “It’s very sad to see the Republican Party going into the dark with racist stands with people like Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo. Even John McCain has changed its position on the immigration reform.”
When asked if the lost of the super majority that Democrats had in Capitol Hill will affect the approval of the immigration reform Morones said that any approval of the reform will be a positive one.
The event also had photography exhibitions, music, and poetry reading. The event was part of the Migrant March advocating a human immigration reform.