The government may be shut down and Congress mired in gridlock, but one thing has not stalled: our struggle for immigration reform. This week, thousands rallied on the National Mall in Washington and nearly 200 people – including 8 members of Congress – were arrested in an act of civil disobedience in front of the Capitol, in protest of the House’s inaction on immigration reform. Our families, our workers, and our communities still desperately need reform, and we won’t stop fighting until we get real immigration reform legislation through the House of Representatives and to the president’s desk!
The rally on the Mall was a bookend to another set of events that happened last weekend. Last Saturday and Sunday, thousands of advocates took to the streets in more than 160 cities to call for immigration reform in a nationwide “March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect.” Many of our NCLR’s Affiliates were involved in the weekend’s events, too.
In Houston, our Affiliates Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA), American Latino Center for Research, Education and Justice (ALCREJ), Houston Gateway Academy (HGA), and KIPP Houston organized a delegation of nearly two hundred advocates to march for immigration reform in front of Houston’s City Hall:
In North Carolina, NCLR Affiliate Latin American Coalition held a vigil for immigration reform in Charlotte.
The rally in Washington included a concert by Los Tigres del Norte and Lila Downs, as well as remarks from a bipartisan group of Representatives. Our own Janet Murguía introduced Congressman Luis Gutierrez who led a delegation of Representatives to the Capitol where they were arrested in an act of civil disobedience along with nearly 200 advocates.
NCLR Affiliates showed up in force at the October 8th rally and march, and participated in the act of civil disobedience.
We’ve fought too hard and for too long to give up, when all that stands in the way of keeping our families together, protecting our workers, and enabling 11 million aspiring Americans to earn the rights and responsibilities of citizenship is the stubborn refusal of House Republican leadership to give immigration reform legislation a vote. Back in June we successfully pushed the Senate to pass an historic bipartisan immigration reform bill that showed real reform is possible; now it’s the House of Representatives’ turn to act. For months now, we’ve known that commonsense reform has enough votes in the House to pass, if Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and the rest of House GOP leadership would only allow a bill to come to the floor. Now is the time for them to act. Now is the time for immigration reform. NCLR staff assembles on the Plaza de los Afiliados, before the Oct 8 rally and march for immigration reform!