Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, is on a 20-city tour he is calling the "Campaign for American Children and Families." He's also calling on President Obama to finally deliver immigration reform.
North Carolina's illegal immigrant population remained steady last year at about 325,000 people, after taking a slight dip the year before.
"The fear and dissatisfaction in immigrant and Latino communities is palpable and both parties shoulder some of the blame," said Gutierrez, who last year introduced an unsuccessful immigration reform bill. "Headed into an election year, the issue I am hearing about most is the record-setting pace of deportations, the price families and communities are paying, and the failure to make progress on immigration."
An estimated 11.2 million illegal immigrants live in the United States, including 325,000 in North Carolina, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
Charlotte was chosen because of its large and growing immigrant population as well as being the city that will host the 2012 Democratic Convention. The Latin American Coalition will host the visit.
During a stop last week in Boston, Gutierrez urged the president to use his authority to act independently of Congress and establish a policy that would let illegal immigrants remain in the country while immigration policy is overhauled, according to The Boston Globe. And he warned that Obama risks losing the support of the Latino community, which supported him in 2008.
“For too long, our movement has been tied to one party,’’ said Gutierrez. “Listen, this issue is greater than the Democrats, the Republicans, or any one party. This is a human rights issue.’’
The Charlotte event will be held April 20 at 6:30 p.m. at St Paul Baptist Church on Allen Street near Uptown. For more information, call 704-759-6503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., right, surrounded by families who have members facing deportation, in Washington, D.C. last month announces the "Campaign for American Children and Families" tour. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)