García & Advocates Join Forces to Empower New Americans to Vote on National Voter Registration Day

September 22, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Representative Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) partnered with the National Partnership for New Americans today in a virtual rally and press conference marking National Voter Registration Day with a call for new Americans to amplify their voice and vote this November. Rep. García was joined by Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Judy Chu (D-CA) and Norma Torres (D-CA), as well as Judge Lina Hidalgo of Harris County, TX, Angelica Salas of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and Nicole Melaku of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA). The event was moderated by bestselling author and influencer, Julissa Arce.

In addition to obstacles facing every American this year, from the threat of COVID-19, to the Administration’s efforts to hobble our postal system, to false information about voting locations, new Americans face distinct challenges, including language barriers and intimidation under this anti-immigrant regime. The participants shared their personal stories and the reasons why they advocate for voting rights in their communities.

The event participants released the following statements:

“The Trump administration’s shocking abuses and attacks against immigrants over the past four years have shaken us to the core. But this election is our chance to fight back. As someone who became a citizen and inspired my parents to do the same, I am proud to host this event with my colleagues and other champions for immigrants and new Americans,” Rep. García said. “We must empower every single new American to register to vote and make their voices heard at the ballot box this November. Together, we can stand up against racism and bigotry and bring justice to our communities. Sí se puede!”

“New Americans face unprecedented challenges to vote at a time when their unique voices are needed more than ever to safeguard our democracy,” Rep. Torres said. “As a proud naturalized citizen, I understand the feelings of intimidation. That’s why today’s event is so important.  Every single naturalized citizen has a right to be heard, a right to feel empowered, and a right to guide this nation towards a brighter future. I am grateful for the passionate advocates and lawmakers who joined forces today to urge every new citizen of this country to embrace the rights you have, and make your voice heard. Get registered and go vote!”

“It’s an honor to be joined by distinguished members of Congress and other elected officials who are naturalized or whose parents are immigrants,” Nicole Melaku, Executive Director NPNA said. “Despite the multiple attacks on immigrants, and voter suppression tactics by USCIS in keeping tens of thousands from naturalization, millions of our community members have become citizens in recent years. We hope the community will hear the important call to action to all newly naturalized citizens and first-time voters, we can’t afford to sit this one out, you’ve come this far in your immigration journey, now let’s vote.”

“As a proud Californian and a naturalized citizen from Sinaloa, Mexico, I am pleased to join two of our state’s champions, Rep. Norma Torres (CA-35) and Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27),” Angelica Salas, Executive Director CHIRLA said. “Today we share our stories and why we are voting: for our families, our communities, and a brighter future. CHIRLA remains deeply committed to getting out the new American vote and continues to fight against the unfair, unjustified attacks on our communities.” 

The recording of the virtual press conference can be found here.

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