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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid