• 41 people arrested today on Capitol Hill for protesting unjust immigration policies

    The following is a press release from the Center for Community Change. Please contact PLAN communications director Laura Martin if you would like press contact information for CCC lmartin@planevada.org



    Over 30 Advocates Arrested on Capitol Hill For Protesting Unjust Immigration Policies, House GOP Inaction on Path to Citizenship

    (WASHINGTON)—More than 30 immigrant rights, labor, faith and other leaders were arrested today on Capitol Hill protesting against the unjust immigration policies and the House GOP’s inability to pass a bill that contains a pathway to citizenship and keeps families together.In total, 41 people were arrested.

    The civil disobedience action was held to send the strongest message possible to House GOP leaders that the fight for immigrant families has been escalated and will continue through the August recess and into the fall until the House produces a comprehensive bill that creates a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants.

    Thursday’s action is just the start of many nationwide activities that will be held to continue putting pressure on House GOP lawmakers. Over the August recess, the groups will participate in “40 Days of Action” to make sure Republicans don’t forget the urgency of passing immigration reform. The actions represent an escalation in the fight for immigrant families and a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

    Advocates blocked traffic at the intersection of First Street and Independence Avenue Southeast by the House Cannon Office Building. Participants chanted, sang and held banners demanding the end to the immoral separation of families.

    House GOP members have not just failed to act on a pathway to citizenship, but have instead let the most conservative and anti-immigrant GOP members take the lead in the debate, prompting advocates to turn to non-violent direct action to address the moral crisis of the broken immigration system.


    “I was arrested in an act of civil disobedience against unjust immigration policies that are tearing families apart, leaving children without their parents, wives without their husbands and brothers and sisters without each other. I was arrested with more than two dozen other courageous activists in the immigrant rights, progressive, faith and labor movements to send the strongest message possible to our leaders: No More! No Mas!” – Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director, Campaign for Community Change

    “Speaker Boehner needs to understand the urgency for reform. Until the House passes a bill that includes a pathway to citizenship, we will continue to be in the streets, at town hall meetings and on the phones, demanding justice for the 11 million aspiring Americans in our country.” – Eliseo Medina, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer

    “Our organizations – immigrant rights, faith, progressive and labor – will not stop escalating until we win what is right and good for America.  Our rapidly growing political power confronts Congress with the moral urgency and human cost of our broken immigration system that can only be ignored at the risk of unprecedented upheaval. America deserves a vote on immigration reform with a path to citizenship.” --Kica Matos, Director of Racial Justice and Immigrant Rights, Campaign for Community Change

    “With all of the talk about polling and demographics, I think too many people have lost touch with the human and moral crisis of deportations. Every day, roughly 1,000 people are deported because the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives is denying the majority of the US Congress a chance to vote on citizenship. I will be arrested today because the labor movement stands with the families tragically ripped apart by John Boehner and the House Republicans’ embrace of a broken immigration system.” –Arlene Holt Baker, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President

    “This summer, thousands of immigrant families face separation, deportation, and alienation.  It’s all part of the status quo which the House of Representatives refuses to address and fix.  While this summer, members of Congress seek family, peace, tranquility, vacation, our community will enjoy none of it unless immigration laws change.  In the absence of justice and a path to citizenship, this will not be a regular summer for us nor the members of Congress.” –Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles

    “All of us in CWA are proud to stand for citizenship and against intolerance.  I am proud to represent our members today as we demonstrate the broad movement that supports a citizenship path for 11 million of our co-workers and neighbors.  We will support this campaign as long as it takes whether we are sitting in the streets or organizing in our communities.” – Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America

    “As Americans, we honor and celebrate our unique commitment to protecting families, and giving equal opportunities and respect to women and girls. Immigrants like my parents came here to share in that vision. Yet our current immigration policies tear mothers from their children and discriminates against immigrant women. The House of Representatives has a choice: to do nothing and leave this country divided, or to take strides towards a house united for common sense immigration policy reform that treats women fairly and that keeps families together.” — Miriam Yeung, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

    “Each day that the House pushes immigration reform to the side, another 1100 members of our community are deported. We’re taking a stand today to say enough is enough. Our community has organized, mobilized, and voted to demand a vote on the road to citizenship, and we will not stand down until that vote is taken.” – Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center

    “We are willing to get arrested to put the spotlight on what is at stake for millions of families and the nation. There are millions of parents who will be separated from their children, married couples that will be separated all because some House Members refuse to do what the voters want them to do: create a path to citizenship so communities around the nation can heal.” –Denise Lopez of Michigan United

    “I left my two daughters at home, to participate in this action, because everyday parents are being taken from their children. I know I will see my girls soon, but many immigrant parents don’t know when they will be able to see their children again. We need immigration reform that respects the dignity of our families and allows millions of immigrant women and their families to enter the pathway to citizenship without fear that some family members may be excluded.  We belong together.” – Andrea Cristina Mercado – National Campaign Director, National Domestic Workers

    “Today we directly confronted obstructionist House Republicans for embracing the status quo – a status quo that is broken – over the will of the American people who want a comprehensive fix for our current immigration system. In dismissing a real solution to our nation’s unjust, unsound immigration system, House Republicans are choosing to ignore hard economic data and compelling public opinion.  The House GOP must move our nation forward by passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship and strong worker protections.”  — Sarita Gupta, Executive Director, Jobs with Justice/American Rights at Work

    “We urge Republican leaders, including Speaker John Boehner and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, to make a stand for real immigration reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship. There’s a notion that doing so is somewhat complicated, but it’s not complicated. House Republicans could just choose to allow a vote for the Senate bill or for the comprehensive immigration reform proposal that a bipartisan group of House representatives are working on. Americans and new immigrants have been waiting for too long.” –Giev Kashkooli, Vice President, United Farm Workers 

    “I am proud to join my friends in this simple act of conscience.   Immigration reform with a path to citizenship is a defining issue for our generation.  It is time for the House leadership to stop dithering, delaying and denying a vote. It is time to let the bipartisan majority that exists in the House of Representatives today to vote in favor of reform that includes a path to citizenship.  It is time for Congress to do the people’s will and ensure that America lives true to its creed of “out of many, one.”- Frank Sharry – Executive Director, America’s Voice

  • Attend the Social Justice Institute at UNLV!

    On Friday September 27th the Rural and Urban Nevada Social Justice Institute, sponsored by PLAN member group Community Chest, will beScreen Shot 2013-07-31 at 3.59.21 PM held in Las Vegas for the first time. The Social Justice Institute will showcase humanitarian work in our state — health and human services providers, teachers, community volunteers, public service employees — to see their work in the context of social justice. Too many of our brothers and sisters fail to grasp the potentially transformative nature of their work. We are convinced that if they did, we’d have many more appreciating and auguring for human-friendly policies and practices in Nevada.

    To register for the Social Justice Institute visit www.communitychestnevada.net


  • DOMA is unconstitutional, Prop 8 is struck down

    Today the US Supreme Court ruled the so-called Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and struck down California’s Proposition 8. These are enormous victories and a joyous day for loving couples and their families, and for equal justice under the law. Today the Supreme Court affirmed that all loving and committed couples who marry deserve equal legal respect and treatment.

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    PLAN immigration organizer Astrid Silva was in Washington, DC to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision

    These decisions have added momentum for marriage, and PLAN will continue to lead the fight for Marriage Equality in Nevada by seeing to it that Senate Joint Resolution 13 is successful. The Nevada Legislature must approve the Resolution again in 2015 because it makes it to the ballot in November of 2016.

    This is an incredible chance to move marriage forward for the Silver State. Thousands of families are depending on us.

    Click here to sign our SJR13 petition and join the growing number of Nevadans organizing for Marriage Equality

  • Father’s Day Rally: What we as Interns learned.

    Our inter Dulce Valencia penned this blog about her experience hosting her first rally!

    Father’s Day Rally: What we as Interns learned.

    So, last Friday we interns hosted our first event: A rally. Earlier, Chris had shown us some letters about undocumented immigrants and we saw how many of them didn’t have their fathers with them because they had been deported. We decided to host a rally in honor of Father’s Day and here are some things we learned on what it takes to host and plan an event.

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    Dulce (left) phone banking with fellow DREAMer Victoria, as seen on Las Vegas Telemundo!

    Number 2-Social media isn’t the only way to go at it. Sure it’s always great to tweet and post stuff on Facebook, but you also have to tell people yourself. It helps if you can tell them face-to-face, but a phone call can also make a difference. That’s how we got Blanca and Elba to come. See, it seems like people are more motivated to do something when they see the person go out of their way to inform them.

    Number 3-We can actually get things done, we just have to maintain our optimism. Things didn’t start out great, let me just say that. It was just Alma, Dulce, and her sister. Then a reporter from Univision came, but she left after it seemed no one would show up. Alma and Dulce started calling people like crazy. (That’s how we got Elba and Blanca). Then, when it seemed like we would have an unsuccessful event, two people we didn’t know showed up and they had this amazing huge banner! They were so nice. Then Laura and Astrid showed up, we changed our location a bit and then an entourage came! I was so excited! We passed out signs, we chanted, cars honked in support, and Dulce talked to a newspaper reporter who told her she was going to feature her in a story! She was such a nice person to talk to. Finally, we wrapped up and Laura told Dulce if she wanted to do the circle thing, and she did! She called on the guy who had brought the great banner. He told us his story about how he came to the U.S. when he turned 19 to pay for his sisters’ education. He married a U.S. citizen, but he said that even though people believe that as soon as you marry someone who’s a citizen you get papers, that’s not the case. It was a great story.

     Overall, we’re really happy with our event, and we think we made everyone at PLAN really proud. Also, as interns we learned valuable lessons that will help us when we organize future events.

  • Our Congressmen voted to deport DREAMers

    Today Congressmen Mark Amodei (NV-02) and Joe Heck (NV-03) were booed as they voted on an amendment that would lead to the deportation of undocumented students (known as DREAMers) and other immigrants who have committed no crimes.


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    Congressman Heck and Congressman Amodei were booed on the House floor as they voted to deport DREAMers


    It is a misuse of immigration enforcement resources to target students and immigrant members of our community who are otherwise law-abiding residents. Voters are depending on Congress to come up with a bipartisan solution to our broken immigration system; this hostile move just muddies the water and calls into question Congressman Amodei and Congressman Heck’s sincerity.


    On Friday June 7th we are hosting an immigration reform meeting in our Las Vegas office. We are also calling Nevada voters next week while the Senate debates the immigration reform bill, S744. Plan to join us and learn more about the campaign to win a pathway to citizenship that keeps families together.


    Passing comprehensive immigration reform is not going to be easy. Help us fight for the 11 million undocumented individuals living in the United States. They deserve a chance at the American Dream and the dignity of living in the United States out of the shadows, and unafraid.

  • From Reno to Veags, Nevadans coming together for immigration reform

    On Wednesday May 29th Nevadans in Reno and Las Vegas gathered to show support for comprehensive immigration reform.

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    Packed house in Reno for Campaign for Citizenship kick-off

    In Reno more than 1,500 Nevadans packed the Little Flower Catholic Church to hear messages of faith, hope, and determination. ACTIONN, PICO and Immigrants for Justice kicked off the Campaign for Citizenship for immigration reform. PLAN’s board president Theresa Navarro introduced US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and also addressed the North’s other representatives who did not attend (Congressman Mark Amodei had a prior commitment). Theresa conveyed the importance of all political parties and all communities working together for the sake of the people. Immigrant families have to live the brutal reality of our broken immigration system every day. We need Congress to act, this year!

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    People gather at UNLV for an immigration reform forum hosted by the Asian and Pacific Islander communities

    The same night, the Asian community in Las Vegas held a discussion on UNLV’s campus. Immigration reform is often treated only as a Latino issue, but 20% of of the undocumented community in the United States is Asian. Many members of the diverse Asian audience spoke out against fear mongering and racism, and vowed to work together to pass reform this year, and get their communities involved in the process. They also called on their community to come out of the shadows, and share their own personal immigration story.

    Debate on the Senate immigration bill begins Monday June 10th. We must call our Senators and let them know that we are watching them, and the time is now for immigration reform.

    Join us for immigration reform phone banks on Thursday June 13th and Friday June 14th. We’re also having a Keeping Families Together meeting on Friday June 7th to update everyone in the state of immigration reform. Click the links to RSVP for one or all events.



    Today is the last day of the legislative session. It is also the last day Senate Bill 457 has if it wants to survive. Governor Sandoval can veto the bill, or just let it sit on his desk and die.

    Senate Bill 457 would require cities to hold both their primary and general elections within their wards. This system already exists in Las Vegas, and as nonpartisan races candidates often win in the primary by gaining over 50 percent of the vote.

    In cities like Reno, Sparks, and Henderson, however, candidates run in their ward in the primary election, then citywide in a general. This can, and has, led to candidates who were favored substantially in the primary losing in the general, unable to raise the funds to compete citywide or not having the favor of the voters outside their neighborhood.

    SB457 would ensure that the residents of each ward have the control to pick their representatives, a principal we see reflected at all other levels of government.

    Click here and tell Governor Brian Sandoval: Don’t veto Senate Bill 457. Give Nevadans a chance to have representatives from their community.

    Or call the Governor’s office directly: 775-684-5670 or 702-486-2500

  • TAKE ACTION: Tell Governor Sandoval to sign SB373

    Senate Bill 373 helps Nevada workers deal with their debt and at the same time allows them to keep more of their wages to provide for their families while paying off creditors over time.

    Under current Nevada law 25% of a worker’s wages can be garnished to collect a debt.  SB373 reduces the garnishment amount to 15% of take home pay for those with gross annual earnings under $40,000.


    Nevadans where hit hardest by the economic downtown, and our state’s high rate of foreclosures continues to drag us down. Reducing the amount of wage garnishment allows workers to pay at a rate which they can afford to avoid bankruptcy and/or default on their other obligations.

    The Governor needs to hear from you. Take action, contact him today and tell him to sign SB373 into law.


  • Take action: Tell Governor Sandoval to sign these bills into law to strengthen our elections

    Our Field Director Howard Watts III explains three bills that are headed to Governor Sandoval’s desk that will strengthen Nevada’s election process should he chose to sign them into law.Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 7.02.01 PM
    The Governor needs to hear from YOU. Making it easier for eligible voters in Nevada to participate in elections should be common sense; ask Governor Sandoval to do the right thing, sign these bills into law.
    Senate Bill 457 would require cities to hold both their primary and general elections within their wards. This system already exists in Las Vegas, and as nonpartisan races candidates often win in the primary by gaining over 50 percent of the vote. In cities like Reno, Sparks, and Henderson, however, candidates run in their ward in the primary election, then citywide in a general. This can, and has, led to candidates who were favored substantially in the primary losing in the general, unable to raise the funds to compete citywide or not having the favor of the voters outside their neighborhood. SB457 would ensure that the residents of each ward have the control to pick their representatives, a principal we see reflected at all other levels of government.


    Assembly Bill 441 is a simple bill that would allow the Early Voting-style election centers we all know and love to exist on election day, in addition to precinct voting sites. The bill doesn’t require these sites to exist, so as counties find the resources, they could add these convenient locations where you can vote no matter where you’re registered, as long as you’re within your county. This bill is an important step in bringing an outdated Election Day administration into the 21st century, and will allow more voters to cast full, instead of provisional, ballots on election day.

    Assembly Bill 440 is also a simple bill, allowing people to register online or in person at an elections office up to the last day of early voting. Every election, people head to the polls only to find out they missed the registration deadline, or that their registration never made it to the rolls. This bill gives uses the technology available to give people more time to register and participate in our democracy. It also allows people to elect to receive a sample ballot through email, saving paper and making sure late registrants have all the information they need in time to vote.
  • Tell Governor Sandoval to support the immigration community with more than words

    Take Action: Tell the Governor to sign Senate Bills 169 and 303, and Assembly Bill 74

    Last week Governor Sandoval signed a resolution to support comprehensive immigration reform, and  in an interview expressed his support for the Senate’s “Gang of 8″ immigration reform bill.

    Governor can support Nevada’s immigrants with more than just words by signing three vital pieces of legislation.

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    Call the Governor’s office directly

    Senate Bill 169 changes the the mandatory sentencing of gross misdemeanors from 365 days to 364. If you’ve been sentenced to 365 days for anything, even if you didn’t serve time, you can not apply to become a United States Citizen. This bill could help many undocumented Nevadans, including those who only plead guilty because they didn’t not have proper representation, and didn’t understand the charges against them. You can be charged for a gross misdemeanor for misusing a hotel room key. Should that prevent someone from applying for citizenship? Tell Governor Sandoval to sign Senate Bill 169.

    Senate Bill 303 authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue Driver Authorization Cards to Nevadans, regardless of legal status. SB303 also guarantees that the DMV does not share immigration status of any applicant with Federal immigration authorities. SB303 will lower the cost of vehicle insurance in Nevada and make our roads safer. Tell Governor Sandoval to sign Senate Bill 303

    Assembly Bill 74 regulates Nevada’s ‘nortario’ and document preparation services. It is vital that we have regulations in place to protect our undocumented and immigrant communities. ‘Notario’ means different things in different countries, and many families have seen their hopes of becoming US citizens disappear because of shady notarios, and currently there is no recourse for their unscrupulous actions. Tell Governor Sandoval to sign Assembly Bill 74

    If Federal immigration reform passes, these bills will do a lot to help Nevadans hoping to become citizens. Please contact the Governor and ask him to sign these bills to keep families together.