Causa is the largest Latino immigrant rights advocacy group in Oregon. We work with our allies at the local, state, and national level to promote policies that defend and advance the rights of immigrants.
Check out our new report “Latino Contributions to Oregon: Strengthening the State Economy.” The report examines the contributions made by Latinos in Oregon as workers, entrepreneurs, taxpayers, and consumers.
At Causa, we strive to integrate our policy work with our greater mission to build power and leadership within the Latino community. Our policy priorities are determined by the needs and concerns identified by the Latino community. We ensure that our members and supporters are informed about important policy campaigns and changes through presentations, leadership classes, rallies, our annual Immigrant Action Day, and leaders assemblies across the state. Causa works with members of the Latino community to bring our demands to policy makers through issue briefs and reports, the annual May Day rally at the capitol, lobby days, one-on-one visits with elected officials, letter and phone call campaigns, and more.
Due to the partisan grid-lock around immigration reform at the federal level, we are working at a local and state level to pass policies that promote immigrant integration and ease the pain and difficulties caused by our failed immigration system.
At a local level, Causa has worked to build push-back against Secure Communities and Police/ICE collaboration, broaden acceptance of the Matricula card by local law enforcement agencies, and maintain funding for community organizations working with the immigrant community. In 2010, Causa began integrating the concerns of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community into our work to defend the civil and human rights for all. Causa has local LGBT Latin@s and Friends groups in Salem and Portland, and is working to build alliances with LGBT groups around the state.
At a statewide level, Causa works to pass legislation that responds to the needs in the Latino community for affordable and accessible education, housing, and health care, living wage jobs, transportation, and safety.
In the 2011 session, Causa fought off 11 anti-immigrant bills, and supported over 20 bills in the house and senate. Causa was a leader in the coalition to pass tuition equity, which after a historic passage of the bill in the senate, the legislation stalled in the house. Causa also introduced a bill to restore access to driver’s licenses for all Oregonians, regardless of their documentation status. Although the bill remained stuck in committee, Causa organized a rally on the capitol steps with 1,500 participants in support of the bill. Currently, Causa is a member of the governor’s committee charged with creating a sensible solution to the growing need for driver’s license and I.D. in the immigrant community.
We look forward to continuing our work on these important issues in the 2013 legislative session. Check out our volunteer page to get involved in the important advocacy work to make Oregon a safe, welcoming state for our immigrant communities.