Immigration reform was a hot topic at the Washington premiere of "Cesar Chavez," the biopic that portrays the labor leader.
“One of the biggest challenges has been that there’s a vacuum of leadership by both the administration, unfortunately, and Congress,” said Voto Latino CEO Maria Teresa Kumar. “No. 1, the majority of the American people want comprehensive immigration reform, and No. 2, we can’t let a few folks, less than 28 members of Congress, hold it hostage, when the rest of America says it’s good for us.”
Voto Latino, a nonprofit organization that works to mobilize the Latino population to participate in politics, hosted the event at the Newseum on Tuesday evening. Rosario Dawson, chairwoman and co-founder of the organization who attended Tuesday's event, portrayed activist Dolores Huerta in the film.
“Immigration reform is not just a Latino issue, it’s an American issue,” said America Ferrera, who played Helen Chavez. “I think we need to do a better job of telling that story about how the issue of immigration affects every single American.”
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), former congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and former mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa were in attendance.
In 2011, President Obama named March 31 Cesar Chavez Day. The White House will host a private screening of the film on Wednesday.
"Cesar Chavez" will be released March 28.