Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I still have hope for Immigration reform - check out this email from American Families United

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: American Families United
Sent: Wed, October 21, 2009 11:16:16 AM
Subject: Big victories for families!

Hi Puertovallartagirl,

What a week!

1. The big news: Congress approved a measure to end the Widow's Penalty yesterday. It will be singed into law shortly. Read the NY Times article here:

We are so excited that this bill has passed, both for the families affected, and for the implications for immigration reform -- Congress has just shown that it can get things done.

American Families United is proud to have supported this legislation, but the real credit goes to an attorney named Brent Renison, who led the effort for 6 years with Surviving Spouses Against Deportation. Please don't be shy in going to the website and sending Brent a note of thanks for his hard work on behalf of his clients and all American families!

2. In another victory for one American family, the parties for Dan and Hoa around the country on September 10th are paying off. Their story made the front page of the Minnesota daily:

Following that story, Congressman Keith Ellison called Dan personally and told him they “put their shoulder against the wheel” and begin working to help Hoa and Dan by contacting DHS. In a great first step, Hoa is being released home today! Their legal case continues, and they want waiver reform for all families, but it's so encouraging to see hard work pay off with this personal victory.

3. In Washington, DC, former Congressman Bruce Morrison and Paul Donnelly continue to lobby for our reforms. In addition to follow up contact with Congressman Ellison, important meetings have been held with the offices of Senator Schumer, Congressman Gutierrez, and other major players. Meeting our recent fundraising goal has allowed us to stay right in the center of the debate as events unfold.

Senator Schumer is still working on a Senate bill, and his support for our reforms is strong. Congressman Gutierrez's office also continues work on a progressive immigration bill, and our estimate (which is a guess not official word) is that the bill will be introduced after Thanksgiving. Congressman Gutierrez's office has not gotten into the details of our reforms, but is supportive.

4. In another victory for AFU, a national coalition of family groups has embraced aggressive waiver reform as a principle for comprehensive immigration reform. This coalition already supports our other urgent issues. In response, AFU is combining forces with other members of this coalition to support a briefing for Congressional offices on Friday. This briefing will promote the Reuniting Families Act and the principles for family immigration reform. Cara Huang, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Office of Congressman Honda will speak. Staff from over 10 offices have confirmed already. If you are in the area, and think you might be able to attend, please consider this an invitation! This would be a great opportunity to talk more specifically about the reforms that would help the people close to you. The meeting will be held at 2:30 pm Friday on Capitol Hill. Please respond with your phone number if you are thinking about attending and would like more information.

With all that's going on, we'd like to ask for your help to keep up the momentum and to have fun at the same time. Specifically, could you help us with one of the following?

a. Help us come up with new credit card design. You can send your pictures to and read more about this effort here:

b. Give us your suggestion or support existing suggestions for our upcoming holiday fundraiser. We have a big goal ahead and need your input:

c. If you or somebody you know are personally affected, think about how you might replicate the success of Dan and Hoa's story. Collecting your thoughts in a personal campaign page would be a great first step to prepare for that effort:


Randall Emery

American Families United