Immigrant families in US start interstate tour to push for immigration reform

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-3-5 10:54:07

Immigrant families in Los Angeles of the United States started Monday an interstate bus tour to push for national immigration reform focusing on family reunion.

A group of immigrant families led by the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles (CHIRLA) gathered in front of the office of Senator Diane Feinstein in Santa Monica, California, then boarded a bus for Sacramento, Capital of the state of California.

Michael Cox, spokesman for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California that co-sponsored the event, told Xinhua that participants will make stops at rallies and town hall meetings along the way "to share stories on how our nation's broken immigration system is breaking families and communities apart."

The "Our Golden Promise -- Keeping California Families Together" interstate tour is part of a national effort by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement.

Cox said similar event was also held in Sacramento to express the demand of the immigrant communities for a fair and comprehensive immigration reform in the country.

He said US President Barack Obama has promised to push for a speedy immigration reform, and the problem is with the US Congress. Therefore, it is important to put pressure on US Congressional members by asking them to support the reform.

Leaders of the Service Employees International Union California stood with President Obama in January when he unveiled his framework for national immigration reform.

SEIU California members joined SEIU International leaders in praising President Obama for his courage and leadership in advancing comprehensive immigration reform, recognizing that the nation's economic and social fabric will be strengthened by ensuring dignity and rights for every worker.

Since January 29, SEIU members have joined community events across California to rally support for reforms that will make the country stronger and safer, while giving hardworking families a chance to participate in the American Dream.

While the national fight for immigration reform is underway, CHIRLA is leading the fight in California with the "Keeping Families Together" Campaign.

For over 10 years, CHIRLA has been very active in the national fight to win immigration reform. CHIRLA is an organization that combines authentic base building, immigrant leadership development, and worker organizing at the local and state level with high level policy and advocacy work at the state and national level. As a leader in the national Keeping Families Together Campaign and the Alliance for Citizenship Campaign, CHIRLA is the statewide coordinator for the national campaign in California.

As both the Democratic and Republican parties have voiced their support to reform the country's immigration system, they differ on how.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said Monday he does not support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the US, a central provision of immigration reform plans being considered by the US Congress.

Bush, who has long chided the Republican Party to adopt immigration reform and improve its outreach to minority and immigrant voters, noted that a path to citizenship would violate the rule of law, and instead is proposing giving a path to legal permanent residency to many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country.

"Our proposal is a proposal that looks forward. And if we want to create an immigration policy that's going to work, we can't continue to make illegal immigration an easier path than legal immigration," Bush told NBC's "Today" show.

A path to citizenship has long been the number-one policy priority for immigrant-rights groups, who claimed that citizenship is necessary for immigrants to compete in society.

Even so, there seems to be some progress on the contentious issue of immigration reform on Capitol Hill.

Senate Republican backers of the bipartisan bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country have met with their counterparts in the US House of Representatives to try to win support for the measure.

Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina spoke with more conservative members of the House in an effort to sway them.

Posted in: Americas

blog comments powered by Disqus