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Teach-In, Speak-Out on Citzenship: Public Forum On Immigration Reform


A public forum on immigration reform is taking place this evening in Hudson.

Immigration reform advocates want Washington to make sure that millions of families are no longer separated by what they see as unjust policies, that due process is upheld, and that protections are strengthened for all workers.

Democratic Congressman Bill Owens represents New York’s 21st district in the North Country. On WAMC’s Congressional Corner program, Owens said progress on immigration reform looks to be a slow-go.

There are many snags immigrants face on the path to citizenship. An estimated 1-point-7 million teenagers and young adults who arrived in the U.S. illegally before they turned 16 have a chance at temporary legal status, but few are availing themselves of DACA -the Deferred Action for Early Childhood arrivals program. Patrick Young is vice chairman of the New York immigration coalition.

On a darker note, New York immigrant advocates say members of Congress need to know that reforming the nation’s broken immigration system also can protect undocumented immigrants who fear coming forward to report serious crimes including domestic violence:  The Obama administration supports giving so called “U-visas” to undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence, but that provision is missing from the current measure that’s being debated in Congress.

Tatania Gretz  with the Latina advocacy group SEPA Mujer  says the system needs to be changed, because at present many undocumented women can only stay legal by staying with their husband, even if he is abusive.

Community organizations and individuals from the Hudson Valley and the Capital Region are coming together this evening 5:30-7:30 at 7th St. Park in Hudson, in a call for just and humane comprehensive immigration reform.

The advocates say America deserves a commonsense immigration policy that includes a roadmap to citizenship for the millions of undocumented people currently living in this country. Many Congressional Republicans, who control the House, have said so-called “amnesty” is a non-starter

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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