Cuéntame on Immigration Bill: “Proceed with Caution”

Originally published at Cuéntame.

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The ‘Gang of Eight’ Immigration bill contains the toughest and costliest border enforcement measures in U.S. History.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Cuéntame, released the following statement after the release of the “Gang of Eight” bi-partisan supported immigration bill.

“Cuéntame has long said that comprehensive immigration reform must be passed to address the broken system in the United States, but we’re warning our members across the country and legislators to ‘proceed with caution’,” said Axel Caballero, Founder and Director of Cuéntame.

“This bill contains the toughest border immigration enforcement measures in the history of the U.S and it’s clear to us that the militarization of the border was the top priority for passage any immigration reform. It’s a dangerous approach. The militarization of the border is the wrong medicine to fix our broken immigration system; not only are border crossings at a historic low but also when human right abuses of immigrants are at an all time high,” continued Caballero.

The heightened enforcement along the border perpetuates the criminalization of immigration and does not address the causes for immigration at its very roots. Upon further reading, the legislation continues to fuel the military and internal security complex and emphasizes benchmarks and triggers that continue to exacerbate flagrant human rights abuses. “It’s costly on humanitarian terms and on monetary terms, this does not fix the problem. This is the problem,”added Caballero. It is estimated that the border measures will end up costing taxpayers upward of $7 billion to an already record amount being spent on immigration enforcement.

While Cuéntame does welcome the five-year residency for immigrant youth, Caballero stresses the bill lacks important immigrant rights elements that will truly reform immigration policy.

“While we have many concerns with the current piece of legislation we also know that our strength lies in voicing our concerns, which are shared by our supporters across the country. We believe that in the debate to follow we will do so effectively and that Washington will listen in order to protect our community and reunite families who’ve been torn apart unnecessarily. We look forward to strengthening this legislation so that it addresses our concerns and helps build a future where immigration to the U.S. is afforded to everyone.”

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Cuéntame has become one of the most active and powerful Latino platforms with a strong online an on-the-ground network of partner and supporters. Our focus is to create media content, documentary series, imagery and personal stories to mobilize our community into action and create long-lasting impact. Cuéntame means, “count me in” or “tell me your story”, and that is precisely what we do. We have produced over 500 videos, more than a dozen documentary campaigns – with an audience reach of over 1 million Latinos and growing every day. Our social media presence is one of the most robust within the Latino community with over 107K on Facebook alone. This has allowed us to engage our community around meaningful topics and debates that focus from immigration and immigrant rights to Latino workers, students and media representation.

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