Immigration reform debate pending in Congress

August of 2013 was a big month for immigration reform. The Senate passed a major bill for an immigration overhaul. According to The New York Times, supporters strongly believed that in the upcoming months Congress would make it easier for foreigners to obtain legal status in the country. However, with increasing complications over Syria and a large debate looming over  a possible targeted military strike from the U.S., many activists wonder about the implications this issue will have on immigration reform.

As Congress recently returned to work after a summer recess, members have a heavy agenda to discuss and many people are worried immigration reform will not be brought up for quite some time. In addition to possible military action in Syria, Congress will be debating the nation’s budget and borrowing limit.

“We believe they (members of Congress) can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Service Employees International Union activist Eliseo Medina told The New York Times. “The more they delay, the worse it will be for them.”

Many supporters of immigration reform feel it is unacceptable for Congress to stall on any voting regarding the issue. Earlier in August, immigration activists lobbied congressmen, set up vigils and rallies and kept the topic of reform alive among lawmakers. In Ohio, advocates delivered more than 600,000 handwritten petitions for comprehensive immigration reform.

Demonstrators and activists around the country have begun congregating to get the attention of lawmakers. According to the Los Angeles Times, street protests have been scheduled for October 5 in 60 cities around the U.S. A large demonstration has been scheduled for October 8 in Washington, D.C.

“By ending the existence of a sub-class in our communities through a fair and attainable path to citizenship, we can bring 11 million aspiring citizens out of the shadows and into the light,” Gary Toebben, representing the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, told the Los Angeles Times. “In so doing, we will inject more than a trillion dollars into the U.S. economy over the next decade.”