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America Ferrera Visits POLITICO to Voice her Opinions on Immigration Reform

First Posted: Dec 21, 2013 11:54 AM EST
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Best known for her leading role as Betty Suarez on the ABC television series Ugly Betty, actress America Ferrera has come a long way, and her acting roles continue to evolve. Audiences can see her in the first major movie about Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez, 2014's Cesar Chavez: An American Hero, by Diego Luna -- alongside Michael Peña, Rosario Dawson, John Malkovich. 

Like her strong characters, Ferrera is making sure that her voice is heard, but this time it's on a political platform. The Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild-award-winning actress has become a strong voice in support of immigration reform as Voto Latino's artist coalition co-chair.  

Last week, she stopped by the set of POLITICO in Washington, D.C. to further discuss her stance on comprehensive immigration reform.

"My personal belief is that passing immigration reform is the Civil Rights Movement of our time," Ferrera told POLITICO's Patrick Gavin on Dec. 13.

"Lifting a community of people in this country out of the shadows is the right thing to do. You can't appeal to everyone on that level. I think the facts that are not being well-communicated are the ones about how our country stands to gain so much from passing comprehesive immigration reform -- in terms of economics, in terms of business booming, in terms of ... taking the spirit of the immigration community and letting that be channeled towards making this country great, which is what this country is supposed to be about."

Gavin shifted the focus towards the White House, including the incident where President Obama was heckled about stopping deportations immediately while he faces his lowest approval ratings due to the troublesome healthcare rollout.

"I think the President has come out in strong favor of immigration reform, the truth is there are still roadblocks to it. So, I think the important thing is ... we have the votes to pass this ... so how do we keep pressures on the powers that be to bring this to a vote," she pointed out.

Ferrera also touched upon the end of deportation for families -"who are not criminals"-  that are torn apart and their children are separated from the parents and put into foster care. Not only is that takes a tragic and emotional toll, but it overflows the foster care system as well. "Let's not make it harder for them to take care of their children."

Watch the entire interview with Ferrera on POLITICO.

What is Voto Latino?

"Founded in 2004, Voto Latino is a dynamic and growing non-partisan organization whose civic engagement campaigns have reached an estimated 55 million Latino households nationwide. United by the belief that Latino issues are American issues and American issues are Latino issues, Voto Latino is dedicated to bringing new and diverse voices into the political process by engaging youth, media, technology and celebrities to promote positive change," according to Voto Latino's official website.

"Voto Latino has creatively and effectively used celebrity voices and the latest technology to register more than 120,000 young Latino voters, galvanize Latino youth and their families to be counted in the 2010 Census, and mobilize them to speak out and take action on policies impacting their lives."

Voto Latino tells us why it matters:

  • There are roughly 9 million American Latino youth in the U.S., but only a small fraction vote.
  • 50 percent of all eligible Latino voters are under 40 and 33 percent are between 18 and 34.
  • By 2050, Latino youth are expected to comprise 29 percent of the U.S. youth population.
  • 50,000 American Latinos turn 18 every month.
  • 90 percent of American Latinos under 29 consume information in English.
  • Latinos make up more than 10 percent of the electorate in 11 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada and Texas.
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