Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New American Voters' Decisive Role in Presidential Election


New American Voters Turn Out in Great Numbers
San Jose – Last night, New American voters throughout the country turned out to vote in great numbers to participate in the decision making process.  The immigrant community sent a strong message in support of immigrant families, workers and students. Once again, immigrants embraced the influential role they play in American politics and made the difference in the presidential elections and state and local initiatives such as CA Proposition 30 and Santa Clara County’s Measure D.  Prop 30 will raise the sales tax a quarter percent for the next four years and personal income taxes for the highest earners, resulting in $6 billion in revenues that will avert further state budget cuts to health and human services and education.  Measure D was also passed in Santa Clara County which will increase minimum wage from $8 to $10, a necessary change given the cost to live and work in the c! ounty and will allow workers to support themselves and their families.

In California alone, 41% of the population is comprised of immigrants or the children of immigrants, while in Santa Clara County 37% of the population are immigrants with 48% of them eligible to vote!  In January of this election year, SIREN re-launched its “New Americans Citizens Vote” campaign to ensure that our newly-registered voters take part in the voting process and have a voice in the American political system.  SIREN garnered the support and commitment of over 4,250 immigrants to turn out to vote in last night’s election; informed over 15,000 immigrant voters on what was at stake in the November 2012 elections and registered nearly 1,000 newly qualified voters, exceeding expectations and helping new voters voice their opinion as Americans in this critical time.

“Last night New American voters made it clear that they will hold their elected officials accountable and expect their interests be upheld and rights protected,” said Patty Diaz, Executive Director, SIREN, “The time is now for real change and create an immigration process that uphold our American values.”  

In the last four years immigrants have felt the brunt of the economic crisis, and the devastating effects of a record number of deportations, as well as the effects of draconian budget cuts to education, health and human services.  Motivated by their desire to see a stronger economy and stronger communities, immigrant voters were reignited to make their voices heard at the local, state and national level.

“As an organization committed to immigrant empowerment and integration, , SIREN is energized by the possibilities of another four years,” said Zelica Rodriguez-Deam, Policy Advocacy Director, SIREN, “but without our continued organizing and engagement of the immigrant community in the decision making process, we will not achieve sustainable change.”

President Barack Obama will be staying in the White House for another four years and the immigrant community will be undeterred to ensure he keeps his promise of creating an immigration process that works for America, keeps families together, strengthens our economy, and recognizes the enormous contributions of a vibrant and culturally rich immigrant community.


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