Celebrities gather to support immigration reform

Immigration reform has taken Hollywood by storm, and more than 100 celebrities have signed a letter to President Barack Obama and members of Congress urging them to pass an immigration bill that creates a clear path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants in the United States who are not recognized as legal. Those who signed the bill include high profile artists, musicians, actors, producers and performers who want Congress to acknowledge the hope and dignity of the American immigrant story.

The petition, featured on Migrationisbeautiful.com, says that “Some immigrants have waited almost a quarter of a century to be reunited with family members. With federal policy in tatters, states have passed immoral laws of questionable constitutionality that profile, isolate, and criminalize immigrants. A broken and unjust immigration policy is bad for us all- it erodes the social fabric and undermines our shared values of equity and empathy.”

Those who signed this letter to the president include Rosario Dawson, The Roots, Sarah Silverman and My Morning Jacket among many others. Jeff Chang, executive director of Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts and founding member of The Culture Group and CultureStrike, told Broadway World that without immigrants, the United States culture would be diminished, and that this effort by American celebrities is a way to preserve the diversity of this country.

“Audrey Hepburn, Igor Stravinsky, Claude McKay, Gertrude Stein, Bruce Lee, and Celia Cruz are among the innumerable immigrants who have helped to shape our vibrant nation,” Chang told the source. “We are all stronger when we celebrate our diversity and welcome those who are seeking the American dream of inclusion and opportunity.”

Although the petition will make headlines and spread awareness, skeptics like Roy Beck, executive director for NumbersUSA, told USA Today that the media attention will not likely do anything to sway Republicans to pass the “Gang of Eight” legislation.