MIAMI, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Democracia Ahora (D-Ahora) (www.democracia-ahora.org), a leading 501(c)(4) national Hispanic grassroots advocacy organization, today announced the launch of its "Ask Me 4 My Papers" campaign, to highlight the discriminatory nature of Arizona Senate Bill 1070, put pressure on the Federal government to challenge the constitutionality of the law and to stop similar laws from being enacted in the 17 states where they are currently under consideration.
"This law has reduced the identity of Latinos in the US to immigration papers. But, green cards and birth certificates aren't the only papers that define our community. When someone asks us for our papers, they should also expect to get other papers that show our contributions to the greatness of this country," said Jorge Mursuli, President of Democracia Ahora. "No matter how you wordsmith the law, it will result in racial profiling and undue harassment for thousands of Hispanics in the state of Arizona and if this law is replicated in other states it will affect millions of Latinos."
Mursuli further added, "You want to see a Latino's papers? Maybe he'll show you his law degree or a letter his daughter sent him. You want to see a Latina's papers? Maybe she'll show you her letter of promotion or library card. We want you to see our contributions, our accomplishments, our families, our valuable place in American society. We've got plenty of papers in our backpacks, briefcases, and purses. We're just not going to undercut American values by adding our birth certificate to them."
The organization is also hosting a "Declaration in Solidarity" for Arizonan's that oppose SB 1070. The signatories of the Declaration, which challenges those who support the bill to "Ask Me 4 My Papers!" will receive a rubber wristband emblazoned with the words "Ask Me 4 My Papers."
Democracia Ahora's field teams are actively distributing 20,000 wristbands to elected officials and community leaders. The wristbands have been distributed to notable dignitaries including: Emilio Estefan, Jr., Henry Cisneros and Federico Pena. They are among the thousands of Americans sporting the wristband and promoting the campaign.
In addition, campaign supporter, Grammy award winning music and entertainment producer Emilio Estefan, Jr., produced a series of PSAs to highlight the contributions of Hispanics in the United States as a way to counter the negative stereotypes that these and other similar laws perpetuate. The PSAs, which tell the personal story of a Latino soldier, farmer, teacher, architect and doctor, will air on national networks in Arizona in the coming weeks. There will also be a PSA highlighting the achievements of Emilio Estefan as an immigrant and business leader in the United States.
"We want to highlight the positive contributions that Latinos have made to this country in areas like commerce, art, science, politics culture and others," said Mursuli. "It is our responsibility, as Latinos, to show the rest of our country that we care about this country and we are working every day to make it safer and stronger. Latinos are here to stay. This is our country too."
As part of the campaign Democracia Ahora's field operation in 12 regional offices, including: Tucson, AZ; Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach, FL; Philadelphia and Reading, PA; Houston, TX; Pennsauken, NJ; Pueblo, CO; Las Vegas, NV and Washington, D.C. are closely monitoring the actions taken by the federal government and each state.
"As President Obama has stated 'If we continue to fail to act [on immigration] at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts open up across the country,'" said Jorge Mursuli, President of Democracia Ahora. "Now we need to see action from the Federal Government and Congress and we also are intent on not letting another divisive, discriminatory bill similar to Arizona's be passed in other states."
All proceeds generated through donations as part of the wristband campaign will go towards its voter registration drive in Arizona.
Democracia Ahora (D-Ahora), Democracia USA's sister 501(c)(4) field advocacy organization, is committed to advancing federal and state legislation vital to Hispanic communities. D-Ahora's work is grounded in a commitment to the basic principles of equality under the law and opportunity for all. The organization seeks to educate, empower and engage established and new citizen advocates on the issues that matter to their families, their communities, and their country. For more information or images visit: www.democracia-ahora.org.
SOURCE Democracia Ahora