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Western Regional Office — Wings, Apples and Immigration Reform in Buffalo

Wings, Apples and Immigration Reform in Buffalo

Report from NYCLU Western Regional Office Director John A. Curr III

February 22, 2010 — The ongoing statewide caravan for just and humane immigration reform made its stop in Buffalo—the “Queen City” of the Empire State—yesterday.

Buffalo — home to local Congressman Brian Higgins — is not famous for its February…warmth. But the red hot energy from the caravan’s riders spread to everybody who came out.

The caravan riders gathered with local friends and allies at Buffalo’s landmark First Presbyterian Church to call for real immigration reform this year. The NYCLU Western Regional Office — together with Hispanic United of Buffalo, Citizen Action, the Network of Religious Communities, the Western New York Peace Center and the International Institute of Buffalo — turned out for the energizing rally and press conference.

One caravan rider, Osman Canales from Long Island, delivered a riveting account of his very personal journey as a first generation American forced into growing up in a single-parent household because of the cruel deportation of his father, his family’s sole provider, when he was just an infant. Other speakers followed with powerful first-hand testimonies about the need for immigration reform.

The enthusiastic event closed with Martiza Vega, who raised high some regional “symbols” of Buffalo — Chicken Wing Hot Sauce (!) and an apple — and personally pledged to deliver them to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand along with the other tokens of support that she had gathered across the caravan’s travels throughout the Empire State.

Congressman Higgins was notably absent from this event and has been equally absent on this crucial reform issue…but don’t worry if you missed it Congressman, there’s plenty more where this came from!

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