News / USA

Activists Plea for Immigration Reform Outside US Capitol

Rigoberto Ramos from Seaford, Del., originally from Guatemala, rallies for immigration reform in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Apr. 10, 2013.
Rigoberto Ramos from Seaford, Del., originally from Guatemala, rallies for immigration reform in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Apr. 10, 2013.
Cindy Saine
Immigrants rights leaders, civil rights leaders and a group of young immigrant leaders from across the country gathered outside the U.S. Capitol Monday to send Congress a message, as they said, that “We are Ready” for comprehensive immigration reform.  The activists gathered as a group of eight U.S. Senators knows as the “Gang of Eight” is expected to introduce immigration reform legislation as early as Tuesday.  
 
A group of young immigrants wearing white “We are Ready” t-shirts gathered on Capitol Hill, before dispersing to knock on lawmakers’ doors to push for comprehensive immigration legislation which would grant legal status and a  pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants currently living in the United States illegally. 
 
The Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Xavier Becerra of California, said he has been ready for immigration reform for a long time.
 
“Quite honestly I was ready the moment I was born, as the son of immigrants, a father who had a chance to go to about the sixth grade, a mother who came when she married my father at the age of 18, when she came from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to this country.  We are ready," he said. 
 
Freshman African American Congressman Steven Horsford, a Democrat from Nevada, said that it is time for U.S. public servants to step up and do their jobs.
 
"To me, immigration reform is the civil and human rights issue of our time.  Our system is broken and unless we do something immigrants will continue to be forced to live in the shadows, families will continue to be torn apart and our country will suffer," he said. 
 
But not all lawmakers agree that any immigration reform legislation should include a pathway to citizenship.  Speaking on ABC News This Week,  Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama warned that from what he has heard about the proposed immigration reform, it would hurt low-wage American workers.
 
“They have produced legislation, it appears, though it looks like now it may be another week before we see it, that will give amnesty now, legalize everyone that is here effectively today, and then there is a promise of enforcement in the future," he said. 
 
The so-called Gang of Eight senators working on immigration reform includes four Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.  Rubio has strongly endorsed the legislation, which, if it passes in the Senate and then in the House, would be the most far-reaching overhaul of U.S. immigration law in almost three decades.
 
Congressman Becerra said he believes Republican House Speaker John Boehner does want to take immigration reform up in the House if it passes in the Senate, but said immigration activists and others will have to keep knocking on the doors of Republican members of the House of Representatives to win their support.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs