April 16, 2006

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., announced its participation in the We Are America Alliance, a nationwide alliance of key immigrant, grassroots, labor, local, statewide, and national organizations which was launched this week to help promote comprehensive immigration reform.

"We are proud of the peaceful and effective ways in which immigrant communities have mobilized in recent weeks, and we're especially proud of the local leaders who have worked so hard to make these events possible. We pledge our support and commitment to making sure that immigrant voices continue to be heard in the coming months on this critical issue," stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

Noting that NCLR has been a major partner in the New American Opportunity Campaign and the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which are among the conveners of the new alliance, Murguía highlighted NCLR's recently-announced "LEAP to Action" initiative as one of the ways in which it intends to contribute to the effort. LEAP to Action is a voter mobilization project that will partner with community-based organizations (CBOs) in 15 states to increase civic participation by Latinos through citizenship drives, voter registration, and voter mobilization activities, placing particular emphasis on young Latino voters.

"We believe that the Latino and immigrant communities can be agents of change, helping to shape this country in ways that make it better for everyone. It gives us great pride to link our efforts to those of other groups who are working to increase immigrant participation in this great democracy," concluded Murguía.

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