Ortiz Statement on Recent Immigration Rallies

March 30, 2006
My participation in the recent immigration rallies in Chicago, Los Angeles and Phoenix made it clear to not only me, but to the rest of the nation that Hispanic people, even though we are a minority, can have an impact on this nation’s political process.

By organizing and presenting a united front, these rallies spoke with one voice and compelled Washington to respond to our legitimate concerns. Recently, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee agreed to amend HR-4437 in ways that would establish a guest worker program and provide a greater chance for immigrants to become U.S. citizens.

While this is a good first step, more has to be done to enlighten our federal representatives about the contributions Hispanics make every day to this country and how our plight as immigrants is just as important to the present and future greatness of this country as the immigrants who came before us. We deserve to be heard not only for our benefit, but to ensure that the legacy of this nation’s democracy continues to be known for its openness, freedom and responsiveness.