NCLR Capital Awards
Senate Gang of Eight and Fast for Families Honored at 2014 NCLR Capital Awards Gala
At the National Building Museum, with more than 700 corporate, legislative and community leaders in attendance, the 2014 NCLR (National Council of La Raza) Capital Awards were presented to two groups that have significantly impacted the push for immigration reform over the past year. The first award of the night was presented to the U.S. Senate “Gang of Eight”—the group of senators responsible for creating the bipartisan immigration bill introduced last April. Sens. Michael Bennet (D–Colo.), Richard Durbin (D–Ill.), Robert Menendez (D–N.J.), and Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) were on hand to accept the award on behalf of the Gang of Eight, which also includes Sens. Jeff Flake (R–Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), John McCain (R–Ariz.), and Marco Rubio (R–Fla.). The “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” (S. 744), which is designed to overhaul the nation’s outdated immigration system and provide a roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans, passed through the Senate last June.
“At a time when Americans had serious doubts over whether lawmakers in Washington could work together to get anything accomplished, these eight men showed a willingness to reach across party lines to craft an immigration bill that this country needs,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Thanks to their courageous work, we are closer than ever to a solution that will revamp our broken immigration system and end the flood of unnecessary deportations that are tearing our community apart.”
The 27th annual NCLR Capital Awards gala recognizes both Democratic and Republican elected officials who promote legislation and public policies that benefit Hispanic Americans. This year, NCLR also presented the 2014 Capital Award for Public Service to Fast for Families, for embodying the moral core of the immigration movement and the fight for just reform. NCLR paid tribute to the fasters who selflessly gave face to this effort. The campaign recently began a nationwide bus tour and will be hosting events throughout the country to show leaders from the House of Representatives the sacrifices that individuals will make in order for comprehensive immigration legislation to be enacted.
“All of those across the country who have participated in the Fast for Families campaign embody the spirit and determination of the immigration movement. They fast for reform, not because it’s an economic imperative or it’s politically expedient, but because our communities deserve a just and humane immigration system,” Murguía added. “Their selfless sacrifice has illuminated the daily heartbreak and struggle that our community faces as a result of our broken immigration system, and we applaud their unyielding commitment to this cause.”
NBC News Correspondent Miguel Almaguer served as master of ceremonies at the event. Event co-chairs included Hyundai and Wells Fargo, with additional support from BP, Univision, UPS, Verizon, Ford and Pepsico, among others.