Immigration reform advocates push through adversity

Undocumented immigrants and their families could possibly face another year of waiting before the House decides to move forward with immigration reform, but that does not mean advocates are giving up the fight. Despite discouraging remarks and actions from House representatives and members of the Senate, support for immigration reform still thrives.

U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told immigration advocates that with the legislative year winding down, the window for immigration reform in 2013 has come and gone. Although there is not much he can do this year, McCarthy said that he is committed to seeing the reform bill become a reality in 2014. Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the most vocal supporters of immigration reform in 2012, has quietly backed down from his soap box, despite being a member of the bipartisan Senate “Gang of Eight” that created and presented a comprehensive reform plan to Congress in June.

While the congressmen no longer have a passion for reform in 2013, the public stands united in the hope that their voices will be heard. Board chairwoman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Angelica Salas, filled the office of Rep. McCarthy with a dozen or so dissatisfied citizens and protested the apparent stalling tactic. She and the other reform advocates spoke with McCarthy for an hour, according to Fox News Latino, pressing the congressman to gather support and get the bill moving again.

Neighborhood Ministries, a Christian organization from Phoenix, sent 44 members to Washington, D.C., to sit down, pray and express their concerns outside the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner. More members of Neighborhood Ministries are planning to come to the capitol by bus in the next few days.

Advocates all over the country believe that immigration reform is a worthwhile effort. Overhauling the current bill would cut the population of undocumented citizens by half, reduce the government’s spending by $200 billion and provide a priceless resource to the country – the support of millions of immigrants.