Mónica Hernández, Regional Coordinator, SEIRN 865-548-6388
Paulina Helm-Hernández, Co-Director, SONG 404-919-1412
América Gruner, Executive Director, CLILA 404-803-4546 Isabel Vinent, Deputy Director
FLIC 786-210-8287

April 10th, 2013–
From Florida to Kentucky, from Arkansas to Georgia; members of the Southeast Immigrant Rights Network (SEIRN) will march and rally in their states and join hundreds of other immigrants in Washington, DC on April 10th, 2013 to demand a fair and just immigration reform that is grounded in respecting and upholding the rights, dignity and humanity of all immigrants and other members of our society. SEIRN members will also march to call upon the Obama Administration to take the first step to address the human rights crisis in the immigrant communities by immediately implementing a moratorium on detentions and deportations.

“Thousands of immigrants and allies from the South are rallying all across the region and Washington DC to say ‘No more deportations: our communities need just and humane immigration now.’” states Mónica Hernández, Regional Coordinator of the Southeast Immigrant Rights Network (SEIRN). Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) Executive Director, Adelina Nicholls, explains, “We will rally immigration reform and full inclusion. But the immigration issue isn’t only in Washington. Our own cities and towns must work to end policies that divide us. We want to see an end to the deportations that are tearing apart our families and the discrimination still alive in Georgia.”

As a network of Southern grassroots groups, statewide coalitions, and social justice organizations, SEIRN members have witnessed the devastating impact of decades of dysfunctional federal immigration policies and some of the harshest state anti-immigrant laws in the country. Américan Gruner, Executive Director of Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA) explains that “The Southeast, a symbol of the civil rights movement, is going backwards by passing and applying anti-immigrant initiatives, such as 287g agreements, and Secure Communities; as well as Arizona copycat laws, such as HB87 and HB56 that have deeply affected our families through a record number of unjust detentions and deportations, perpetuating the southern style of racial profiling.”

Paulina Helm-Hernández, Co-Director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) added “In Southern states like Georgia that are dealing with Arizona copycat Anti-Immigrant legislative attacks that seek to devolve us into a Jim Crow South, it’s crucial that we organize to protect and defend our states and our region.”

SEIRN also asks for an immigration reform that includes and recognizes LGBTQ families, Paulina Helm-Hernández explains “ How can we unite LGBTQ families under Marriage Equality, but then divide them with President Obama’s refusal to a moratorium on deportations, and Immigration Reforms that destroy families? That’s not justice or equality, that’s discrimination, and it’s a contradiction our democracy and economy can’t afford. Every family deserves equal protection, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and immigration status, and it is our duty to fight to see that become a reality in our lifetime.”

The Southeast Immigrant Rights Network calls upon the President and Congress to put forth immigration reform proposals based on the principles of dignity, justice and equality. These proposals should provide opportunities for all undocumented immigrants to permanently regularize their status, expand the availability of legal immigration options, restore due process for all immigrants, demilitarize the border and end the widespread criminalization of immigrants. América Gruner states “We join the fight for an immigration reform at the federal level, that prevents local and state persecution of immigrants, that guarantees our families staying together and that provides a path to citizenship.”

SEIRN’s mission is to build just and inclusive communities throughout the South by supporting immigrant rights organizations, fostering regional collaboration and peer exchange, strengthening alliances with the progressive movement, and facilitating joint analysis and action on issues of common concern.