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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid