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October 27, 2016

Aguilar Convenes Immigration Advisory Board to Discuss Critical Issues Facing San Bernardino County Immigrant Community

Yesterday, Rep. Pete Aguilar convened his latest meeting with his Immigration Advisory Board. The panel consists of local stakeholders, immigration advocacy organization representatives, higher education officials and staff members from foreign consulates in Southern California. The discussion focused on Rep. Aguilar’s immigration bill, the Academic Success Centers and Education Networks for Dreamers (ASCEND) Act, and other efforts to assist the San Bernardino County immigrant community.

“As we continue to discuss legislative solutions to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, it’s important for me to have conversations with community members about where we are and where we’re going,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a pathway to citizenship is certainly the goal, but right now, addressing the smaller issues we see in our region is more realistic. I appreciate the insight and advice offered by my advisory board as we navigate these concerns.”

Fatima Cristerna-Adame, Regional Director for the California Charter School Association said, “I am eternally grateful to have a congressman that cares and is actually moving forward with proposed legislation like the ASCEND Act and not just talking about change.”

Luis Medina, Consul for Protection and Legal Affairs at the Consulate of Mexico in San Bernardino added, “The meeting with Congressman Pete Aguilar allowed the parties involved to understand what local representatives are doing for their constituents. Having representatives from Mexico and Guatemala shows that the congressman is aware of the two largest Hispanic populations living in his area.”

Rep. Aguilar formed his Immigration Advisory Board earlier this year after holding an Immigration Roundtable with local stakeholders. He is a fierce proponent of Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a pathway to citizenship and supports expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. Last month, Rep. Aguilar introduced the ASCEND Act, which creates a grant program to allocate four-year awards to centers and clubs that support Dreamers on college campuses. The bill has been endorsed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Cal State San Bernardino, the Southern California Consortium of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, the San Bernardino Community College District, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). 

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