President Barack Obama last State of the Union Address

NALEO Responds to President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama last State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill January 12, 2016 in Washington, D.C. In his final State of the Union, President Obama reflected on the past seven years in office and spoke on topics including climate change, gun control, immigration and income inequality. (Photo : Evan Vucci – Pool/Getty Images)


NALEO calls on Congress and President to work together to ensure promises turn  into action for the nation’s second largest population group and all Americans.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) issued the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address: “With Latinos comprising nearly one of every five Americans today, the success of our country has become intrinsically tied to the future of the nation’s second largest population group.  Given our nation’s changing demographics, it is increasingly critical that the President and congressional leadership deliver on the promises made in 2016 and beyond.

“The State of the Union needs to be more than just political theater.  Latinos and all Americans continue to wait for words to be turned into action on the key issues affecting their day-to-day lives.  We need progress on policies that will improve the schools our students attend, create more job opportunities, bring the immigrant community out of the shadows and ensure the right to vote is accessible for all.  While we wait for action, many kids remain without access to rigorous preparation for post-secondary, life and work opportunities, families struggle to put food on the table, immigrants remain vulnerable and our democracy becomes increasingly responsive to only the privileged few.

“It is time for the President and our nation’s congressional leadership to work across party lines to deliver on the many promises made to Latinos year in and year out.  Like many Americans, the Latino community has grown weary of the political infighting that has become common in our nation’s capital and on the campaign trail.  The problems facing the Latino community are all too real and our leadership must move on policies that will allow our nation to reach the high bar that we have set for ourselves.

“Latinos have never shied away from a challenge, and we ask that the President and Congress do the same by avoiding political posturing and instead putting in the hard work of turning broken promises into action. “Issues like immigrant integration have demonstrated that there are areas of common ground where our nation’s leadership can reach across the aisle on policies that benefit Latinos and all Americans.  More than 8.8 million legal permanent residents are eligible to become citizens, with our economy and democracy the biggest beneficiaries when these New Americans succeed.  Delaying administrative increases in the naturalization fee and supporting funding for English language and civics classes will ensure that the significant progress that has been made on this front continues.

“As the President acknowledged in tonight’s address, ‘it’s change that can broaden opportunity, or widen inequality’. The time has come to make the changes needed to make the American Dream more accessible, not less accessible for the nation’s second largest population group.

“Our constituency of more than 6,100 Latino elected and appointed officials nationwide stands ready to work side-by-side with the President, the Administration and Congress to move forward policies that spur job creation, increase  rigorous educational opportunities for all students, protect voting rights and fix the nation’s broken immigration system in pursuit of this goal.

“We cannot succeed as a nation without ensuring the success of the Latino community.  Now is the time to act, put politics aside and turn promises into reality for Latinos and all Americans.”

120 days the movie

Family separation, the dramatic decision of undocumented immigrants in film (video)

Undocumented immigratns and President Obama

Thousands of undocumented immigrants are waiting for their time to become Americans.

Every day, thousands of undocumented immigrants live with the fear of deportation, not knowing what could happen to them, their families,  their jobs  and their future at the end of that day. In an hostile immigrant environment fired up by the 2016 presidential campaign, immigrant hard-working families face the dramatic decision of family separation with “voluntary deportation.”

Gravitas Ventures has picked up worldwide VOD & broadcast rights to Ted Roach’s 120 Days: Undocumented in America, the award-winning documentary that chronicles one immigrant’s struggle to keep his family together after an immigration judge orders him to leave the U.S. “voluntarily” within 120 days to avoid an official deportation.

The politically-timely documentary is slated for a VOD release on October 2nd on many platforms, including iTunes (available for pre-orders now), AT&T, Amazon, Cablevision, Comcast, Google Play, In-Demand, DirecTV, DISH Network, PlayStation®, Rogers (Canada), TWC, VUDU, U-verse, and Xbox.

Voluntary deportation

Voluntary deportation is a hard decision for families of undocumented immigrants

The Immigration debate gets personal in this documentary from filmmaker, Ted Roach. Family man Miguel Cortes was detected as an undocumented immigrant at a traffic stop after living in the U.S. under the radar for over a decade. After receiving the judge’s “voluntary departure” order, Miguel, his wife and two daughters have four months to decide if they will send Miguel back alone, or change their names and disappear back into another American city to keep their family together. The film crew joined the Cortes family from the first day in court through Miguel’s last official day in the United States, revealing a hidden side of an undocumented society that few Americans ever get to see.

The documentary had its North American premiere at the Austin Film Festival and was selected for over 20 other festivals, winning 10 awards and four nominations along the way. The upcoming D.C. premiere will take place the weekend of October 22-25, with featured screenings in the Greater Washington Immigration Film Festival and American University’s Human Rights Film Series. The film will also screen at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival.


Twitter: @120DaysMovie