Politicians and advocacy groups push for reform during Cinco de Mayo

As advocates of undocumented immigrants on Capitol Hill struggle to find common ground on the immigration reform debate, many supporters of undocumented immigrants continue to hold rallies and marches in displays of solidarity. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside city hall offices and correction centers across the country while leaders of the Democratic Party urge their colleagues to come to an agreement on what should be done about ineffective immigration laws.

On May 5, members of the Central Nebraska Peace Workers (CNPW) gathered in front of the Hall County Department of Corrections to protest a recently passed ordinance in Fremont, Nebraska. The municipal legislation requires all potential property renters to swear they are legal citizens of the United States. The CNPW scheduled the protest to coincide with a local Cinco de Mayo event that celebrated Mexican heritage and pride.

Advocacy groups like the May Day Queer Contingent, the LA Federation of Labor and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles also marched together on May 5 through Chinatown toward Downtown LA’s detention center. More than 2,000 people raised flags, posters and picket signs that read “Keep Families Together” to raise awareness of the unfair imprisonment of undocumented citizens.

While public frustration over political inaction continues to manifest in the form of protests and rallies, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic Leader, issued a statement that revolved around Cinco de Mayo. She challenged her Republican colleagues to channel the bravery of fallen soldiers and show their support of comprehensive immigration reform.

“As we look back on a seminal moment in history, let us also look forward to the best ways we can continue to embrace the diverse heritage and rich history of Latinos in the United States,” Pelosi said in a statement. “There is no better way to acknowledge the important contributions to our country of America’s Latino community than by enacting comprehensive immigration reform.”

The majority of Republicans and some Democrats in the House of Representatives have resisted progressive action on immigration reform for more than a year. However, time still remains in the Congressional calendar for legislation to pass.