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January 8, 2023
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Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Urges Congress to Take Bipartisan Action that Will Boost the US Economy Transforming Millions More Immigrants Into Lawful Taxpayers and Consumers

El Paso, Texas – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) spoke out Sunday at the epicenter of the current border crisis, El Paso-Juarez. LULAC proposes El Paso serve as the location for a summit that can bring governmental and community-based leaders together to examine the underlying issues and develop a strategic response to stem future refugee migration.

"It's time to end using refugees as political piñatas," said Domingo Garcia, LULAC national president. "We are long overdue for bi-partisan, comprehensive immigration reform. We need to secure the border and create a realistic legal immigration plan to deal with America's need for workers and America's promise as etched in the Statue of Liberty. El Paso is the new Ellis Island and is at the vortex of the new debate on immigration. It's time for a national summit of both parties, Mexico and leaders of countries sending the most refugees, to finally solve this issue realistically and humanely," said Garcia.

A migration solution for the Americas will also mean significant potential economic benefits for the United States. "Think of how 11 million people being on the economic radar, working legally, and paying taxes would add to our economic vibrancy," says Lydia Guzman, LULAC national immigration chair. "And of course, once these men and women are working and earning income lawfully, this will stimulate our economy even more as they buy big ticket items; houses, cars, and much more. In turn, this will create still more jobs as we re-open factories and manufacturing to feed the new demand for goods. Additionally, this will strengthen consumer confidence in these new arrivals. Comprehensive immigration reform must mean just that, addressing both those immigrants in limbo for years or decades who have been patiently waiting and contributing to the United States. Also, we must prioritize the genuine humanitarian needs families, including women and small children, are enduring on the border. They cannot wait for years for a solution," said Guzman.

The organization said any solution to the refugee crisis at the US-Mexico border requires addressing the more profound, broader economic and social justice issues forcing people to flee their homes and seek shelter and safety in the United States. "It is unrealistic to expect a mother who sees her children hungry or in danger to stay where they are without having hope for their future," said Ray Mancera, LULAC national parliamentarian. Mancera is the LULAC migrant relief coordinator based in El Paso, his hometown. "I have seen these waves of humanity arrive at our doorstep many times over my lifetime and can attest to the fact that the driving force is the same one that compels any parent or family member to migrate. When the conditions where they live have become so dangerous and uncertain and can no longer sustain them, they will do what we would do; leave to seek safe haven; isn't that what the United States has historically stood for? No, we cannot have open borders, so a comprehensive immigration solution is imperative. However, in the long term, we have a choice to make. Either invest on the scale of a Marshall Plan-like initiative in the countries of origin for concerted economic development programs, including job creation, training, and education. Or we will continue to see increasing numbers of refugees seeking asylum here, which can and must be a controlled, lawful process. This humanitarian crisis is a wake-up call we need to heed and answer," said Mancera.


The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/