NEWS

We will have the latest updates here. Stay Tuned!

P.O. Box 41006, Des Moines, IA 50311

(515) 255-9809

www.IowaMMJ.org

For Immediate Release

Press contact: Erica Johnson, Iowa MMJ

ejohnson@iowammj.org  773-875-1493

Nearly 40 Iowa Organizations and Leaders Call for A Pathway to Citizenship in Build Back Better Bill

Des Moines, (November 5, 2021) As negotiations continue on which provisions will be included in the Build Back Better Act, Iowans are calling on Congresswoman Cindy Axne and Iowa’s members of Congress to include a pathway to citizenship. Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice (Iowa MMJ), an Iowa-based immigrants’ rights organization and 35 other community organizations and faith leaders are speaking out, asking Representative Axne to include a pathway to citizenship in the bill and fight against efforts by some lawmakers to remove immigration provisions entirely.

“Updates to the U.S. immigration laws are long overdue. We believe in measures that honor human rights, strengthen our communities and make Iowa more attractive to individual and corporate investments,” the statement reads. “Now is the time for Iowa’s members of Congress and Iowa’s state and local leaders to reject unwelcoming and anti-immigrant measures, to join with us and do the hard work of delivering real results for Iowa communities.”

Advocates are calling on House leadership to include a pathway to citizenship in their bill, and for Senate leadership and Vice President Harris to disregard the recommendations of the Senate Parliamentarian, who had ruled against the inclusion of the pathway to citizenship. Immigrant communities and grassroots organizations around the country are also reaching out to their Members of Congress to demand that a pathway to citizenship be included.

Instead of a pathway to citizenship, the House bill currently includes immigration parole, which would allow many undocumented people temporary, renewable access to a work permit and relief from deportation, but no opportunity for permanent status. But parole falls far short of the bold steps that millions across the country are calling for and many politicians had promised.

“The administration must fulfill its promise to regularize more than 12 million workers on their way to citizenship,” said Erica Johnson, Founding Executive Director of Iowa MMJ. “Immigrant essential workers have played instrumental roles in keeping the state alive and running during difficult times like the pandemic, even risking their own lives. We call on Congress to act: a refusal to support citizenship is a refusal to dignify the workers who bring food to your table and a rejection of the future prosperity of the state of Iowa.”

Iowa MMJ is also calling on Iowa faith communities, businesses, the agriculture industry and public health associations to join efforts to support immigrants, to reject unwelcoming and anti-immigrant measures and join together to make a more welcoming Iowa by signing on to the statement.

###

Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice (Iowa MMJ) is a statewide membership-based advocacy and legal service organization driven and led by immigrant and refugee voices and united with allies whose mission is to build a movement for justice led by immigrants and refugees in Iowa by providing high-quality legal services and community empowerment through organizing.

P.O. Box 41006, Des Moines, IA 50311

(515) 255-9809

www.IowaMMJ.org

For Immediate Release

Press contact: Erica Johnson, Iowa MMJ

ejohnson@iowammj.org  773-875-1493

Iowans React to DACA Decision, Call for Congressional Action

Des Moines, IA (July 19, 2021) On Friday, a federal judge in Texas issued a ruling to partially block Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and block new DACA applications. The following statement is from Iowa MMJ Board Secretary, Cecilia Martinez:

“DACA recipients and the broader immigrant community have been on a roller coaster of emotions since DACA was created in 2012. This constant back and forth disrupts people’s lives, causes confusion and is exhausting. This decision is the latest political ploy that leaves people living under real threats. It is difficult, especially in these stressful times, to keep moving forward but we must. Enough is enough.  We need protection for all undocumented immigrants in this country. Our fight will not end with DACA and will only continue with our collective efforts to seek justice for all affected by the United States’ immigration and carcel system. It’s time for Congress to act and pass real pathways to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers and essential workers.”

###

Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice (Iowa MMJ) is a statewide membership-based advocacy and legal service organization driven and led by immigrant and refugee voices and united with allies whose mission is to build a movement for justice led by immigrants and refugees in Iowa by providing high-quality legal services and community empowerment through organizing.

P.O. Box 41006, Des Moines, IA 50311

(515) 255-9809

www.IowaMMJ.org

For Immediate Release

Press contact: Erica Johnson, Iowa MMJ

ejohnson@iowammj.org  773-875-1493

Iowa MMJ Calls on Governor Reynolds to Stop Politicizing the Welfare of Kids

Des Moines, IA (June 10, 2021) Today the Governor’s office demanded a congressional hearing about an issue she previously stated she wanted nothing to do with. Immigrants’ rights advocates in her own state continue to be horrified at her lack of leadership and compassion and call on her to learn more about immigrant communities in her state.

“Governor Reynolds is a failed leader. She turned her back on unaccompanied kids when she told the federal government that children seeking safety in Iowa were “not [her] problem”. Now, she’s calling for a Congressional hearing into the issue. This contradiction is a reversal from her previously claimed conviction about these children and is a barely veiled attempt to politicize the welfare of these kids. As we’ve said before, these kids and their families are already in Iowa. The fact that the Governor is unaware that unaccompanied children are often resettled with sponsors throughout the country, including our state, shows that she’s out of touch with the realities of immigrant and refugee communities in Iowa.

She has failed to lead, failed to act. Regardless of her inaction, immigrants will continue to seek safety. Iowans have welcomed and will continue to welcome and offer safety and security to them. If she’s ever interested in learning about what’s going on in her state, we invite her and her staff to meet with us to learn how they can help.

Governor Reynolds can’t have it both ways. She can either continue to put her head in the sand or she can get involved. We call on her to lead with care, compassion and action. Especially when it comes to children.We call on her to act to unite families, protect kids and facilitate transparency in these processes.”

###

 

Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice (Iowa MMJ) is a statewide membership-based advocacy and legal service organization driven and led by immigrant and refugee voices and united with allies whose mission is to build a movement for justice led by immigrants and refugees in Iowa by providing high-quality legal services and community empowerment through organizing.

P.O. Box 41006, Des Moines, IA 50311

(515) 255-9809

www.IowaMMJ.org

For Immediate Release

Press contact: Erica Johnson, Iowa MMJ

ejohnson@iowammj.org  773-875-1493

Immigrants’ rights organization speaks out against Gov. Reynolds callous statements

Des Moines, IA (April 8, 2021) Today, in comments during a segment on WHO Radio, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was asked Thursday about Iowa’s capacity to provide shelter to migrant children. Iowa MMJ, an Iowa-based immigrants’ rights organization condemned her response.

“We are disappointed that Governor Reynolds has decided on behalf of all Iowans that these children are “not our problem”, yet we are not surprised. This Governor and former Governor Branstad have repeatedly turned their backs on immigrants, including children and families. Expecting this callous response, Iowans have been strategizing for weeks, and indeed for years, about how to best offer support to migrants seeking safety. 

We are deeply concerned about unaccompanied children and the use of overcrowded influx facilities to detain them when they arrive at the border seeking protection. Efforts should be made to place children in safe environments with family members or guardians as soon as possible upon their arrival. We urge officials to ensure that the well-being of children and their families is the top priority. We join with other immigrants’ rights organizations calling for an end to holding children in detention facilities and for restoring access to asylum.

While our elected officials are again failing to respond adequately to a crisis, Iowans are working to reunite families and solve the systemic problems facing immigrants and refugees.”

###

Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice (Iowa MMJ) is a statewide membership-based advocacy and legal service organization driven and led by immigrant and refugee voices and united with allies whose mission is to build a movement for justice led by immigrants and refugees in Iowa by providing high-quality legal services and community empowerment through organizing.