January 14, 2004
For immediate release
Ramon Ramirez, PCUN, (503) 982-0243 ext. 201
Samuel Dávila, CAUSA, (503) 763-1694
Guadalupe Quinn, CAUSA, (541) 968-6534
Pedro Sosa, American Friends Service Committee, Project Voice, (503) 230-9427
Latino groups unite, call Bush immigration proposal a cruel hoax
Who: Oregon Latino community leaders
What: A press conference to discuss President Bush's proposal for immigration reform
Where: Portland State University
Campus Christian Ministries, Koinia House
633 SW Montgomery St.
When: Friday, January 16, 10:00 AM
On Wednesday, January 7, President Bush announced plans to reform US immigration laws by instituting a temporary worker program, through which workers could obtain temporary visas through a sponsoring employer. The visas, renewable for up to six years, would not, however lead to legal permanent residency for the immigrant workers, who would be forced to either return to their country of origin or work without documents. Legal status under the program would be dictated by employment, likely making workers afraid of losing their status easy prey for exploitative employers. Finally, although President Bush said these workers would be eligible for permanent residency "green" cards, the backlog in processing cases is so great that most temporary visas would expire before workers were granted residency.
Immigrant and labor rights organizations throughout the country have united to denounce the Bush administration's proposal, calling for comprehensive immigration reform, not a revival of the guest worker program.