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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid